“We work,” Aristotle wrote, “in order to have leisure.” Today, this is still true. But is the leisure that Aristotle spoke of—the freedom to do nothing—the same as the leisure we look forward to each weekend?
There have always been breaks from the routine of work—taboo days, market days, public festivals, holy days—we couldn’t survive without them. In Waiting for the Weekend, Witold Rybczynski unfolds the history and evolution of leisure time in Western civilization, from Aristotle, through the Middle Ages, to the present. Along the way, he explores how the psychological needs that leisure time seeks to fulfill have changed as the nature of work has changed.