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Dangerously Sleepy

Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness

Dangerously Sleepy explores the fraught relations between overwork, sleep deprivation, and public health. Health and labor historian Alan Derickson charts the cultural and political forces behind the overvaluation—and masculinization—of wakefulness in the United States.

Author Information

Alan Derickson is Professor of Labor Studies and History at Pennsylvania State University and author of Health Security for All: Dreams of Universal Health Care in America, Black Lung: Anatomy of a Public Health Disaster, and Workers' Health, Workers' Democracy: The Western Miners' Struggle, 1891-1925.


"What do Silicon Valley, long-haul truckers, and Donald Trump all have in common? An 'I'll sleep when I'm dead' ethic that conflates manliness with lack of sleep. Dangerously Sleepy shows that this is not just silly: it's downright dangerous."—Joan C. Williams, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law

"Smart and original, Dangerously Sleepy has pace, power, and a wonderful sardonic sense of humor. Alan Derickson connects working hours to work safety and sleeplessness to masculinity."—Michael Zuckerman, University of Pennsylvania

Audience: College/higher education;