Blog post

Publishers Weekly intern Ben Zarov on Intern Nation

Julie McCarroll 2 March 2011

In a new review in the March 1 issue of Publishers Weekly, PW intern Bern Zarov writes: "[Perlin's] exposé on the internship model initiates a critical conversation on internships ... and his thoughtful book is necessary reading for the millions of young people trying to break into the working world through internships":

Perlin's most shocking revelation isn't that many internships are exploitative but that most are illegal. Companies of all sizes and across industries flout (with no consequences) the requirements outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act to benefit from free labor. Perlin covers the complicity of colleges, many offering dubious internship programs aimed more at generating revenue for the school than benefiting students. Not even the federal government's massive, intensely competitive internship programs escape Perlin's scorn; he describes them as a hotbed of nepotism and squandered talent-but still, the right government internship is an all but necessary career step for an aspiring politician.

Fortunately, Perlin also offers hope and bright solutions, and ends the book with an Intern Bill of Rights and the observation that "a general strike of all interns would show all they contribute for the first time [and would bring] a delicious low-level chaos to the world's work.

Visit Publishers Weekly to read the review in full.