In the past year of the pandemic, Amazon has added more than 500,000 jobs, mostly in its various warehouses. During the same period, more than 20,000 of its frontline workers tested positive for Covid-19. Their boss, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, saw his net worth rise by $67 billion. Amazon’s shadow extends beyond the warehouses, though, to the cardboard factories that supply its packaging, the local stores it’s crowded out, and the affordable housing that’s flipped to luxury condos near its headquarters. In his new book, Fulfillment, ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis uses Amazon as a frame to chronicle the widening gap between winner-take-all-cities and the regions left behind.
Go beyond the episode:
- Alec MacGillis’s Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America
- Read his piece in The New York Times, “Amazon and the Breaking of Baltimore”
- German novelist Heike Geissler worked at an Amazon fulfillment center to make ends meet—and wrote about the brutal experience in her novel Seasonal Associate
- Learn more about the high-stakes fight for a union at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama; ballots are due for the first-ever warehouse-wide union vote by March 29
Tune in every week to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek. Follow us on Twitter @TheAmScho or on Facebook.
Subscribe: iTunes • Feedburner • Stitcher • Google Play • Acast
Download the audio here (right click to “save link as …”)
Have suggestions for projects you’d like us to catch up on, or writers you want to hear from? Send us a note: podcast [at] theamericanscholar [dot] org. And rate us on iTunes! Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.
Permission required for reprinting, reproducing, or other uses.