Burnout may be our contemporary condition, but it has very particular historical origins. In the nineteen-seventies…, real wages stagnated and union membership declined. Manufacturing jobs disappeared; service jobs grew. Some of these trends have lately begun to reverse, but all the talk about burnout, beginning in the past few decades, did nothing to solve these problems; instead, it turned responsibility for enormous economic and social upheaval and changes in the labor market back onto the individual worker. …a lesson of the history of burnout is that every generation of Americans who have come of age since the nineteen-seventies have made the same claim, and they were right, too, because overwork keeps getting worse.
Jill Lepore, “It’s Just Too Much”, The New Yorker (24 May 2021), 29.