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20th Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship

Louis Hyman receives the Twentieth Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University has awarded the Twentieth Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship to Louis Hyman, for his book Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary, published by Penguin Random House in 2018.


Dr. Hyman received his PhD in American history from Harvard University. He is a historian of work and business at the ILR School of Cornell University, where he also directs the Institute for Workplace Studies in New York City. He previously has published two books on the history of personal debt (Debtor Nation and Borrow). A former Fulbright scholar and McKinsey associate, Hyman is the founding editor of the Columbia Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism book series from Columbia University Press.

Temp is the untold history of the surprising origins of the “gig economy”–how deliberate decisions made by consultants and CEOs in the 50s and 60s upended the stability of the workplace and the lives of millions of working men and women in postwar America, long before the digital revolution. The book argues that Uber is not the cause of insecurity and inequality in our country, and neither is the rest of the gig economy. The answer to our growing problems goes deeper than apps, further back than outsourcing and downsizing, and contests the most essential assumptions we have about how our businesses should work. As we make choices about the future, we need to understand our past.

The book is winner of the William G. Bowen Prize, was named a “Triumph” of 2018 by the New York Times book critics, and has been shortlisted for the 800-CEO-READ Business Book Award. The New York Times writes that Temp is “Illuminating and often surprising…a book that encourages us to imagine a future that is inclusive and humane rather than sentimentalize a past that never truly was.” As Publishers Weekly adds, “Hyman’s examination of the evolution of work is thorough, thoughtful, and sympathetic, importantly not excluding the people—immigrants, minorities, women, and youth—largely ignored in the ‘American Dream’ model for employment once all but guaranteed to white men.”

Dr. Hyman will be visiting Texas A&M March 4-6, 2020, to receive the award and participate in campus and community events in celebration of the prize. For further details, contact: glasscock@tamu.edu or visit liberalarts.tamu.edu/glasscock.


The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship was endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock, Texas A&M University Class of ‘59, in honor of his wife. Together, among many other generous gifts to Texas A&M University, they provided a naming endowment for the Glasscock Center in 2002.