The Hidden Injuries of Class

by Richard Sennett and Jonathan Cobb. Knopf, $6.95.
The authors claim to have discovered, by means of taped interviews with workers around Boston, horrendous social and ethical pressures afflicting blue collar workers. Since the beavering scholars have disguised the names and circumstances of the people interviewed, one can judge their conclusions only on the basis of their interpretation of very short, precise statements. And these interpretations all too often reveal a thick-eared insensitivity to the interviewees’ quite adroit use of language, as well as the tacit assumption that any blue collar worker must be a bit stupid. One wonders which foot this shoe really fits.