On the Job: An Encyclopedia of Unique Occupations Around the World

ABC-CLIO. Jan. 2021. 295p. ISBN 9781440863509. $97. REF
DeMello’s (anthrozoology, Carroll Coll.) fascinating book examines offbeat jobs all over the globe, from alligator wrestler, to competitive eater, to deer urine collector, to parade float builder, to YouTube celebrity. She reports on 90 occupations in 13 topical areas, such as jobs involving death, danger, sports, and transportation. Some jobs aren’t for the faint of heart or squeamish—like roadkill cleaner or snake milker. Each entry defines the job; offers an overview; lays out historical, social, and cultural significance; identifies primary locations for the work (some jobs, such as bullfighter or mourner, are specific to certain countries; others, including food taster and astrologer, are global); explains how people get into this line of work; and predicts the job’s economic outlook. There are also reading lists at the end of each entry; an extensive general bibliography concludes the encyclopedia.
VERDICT With engrossing subject matter, excellent writing, and thorough, up-to-date research, this reference work will enrapture high school students, undergraduates, and curious browsers.
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