This 1991 Atlantic Monthly article “Waiting For The Weekend” by Witold Rybczynski is interesting throughout, even if it doesn’t fully substantiate its most ambitious claims. It’s worth reading if just for the depiction of work culture before and after the Industrial Revolution, which is quite fascinating. I’d known that drunkenness on the job was common before the Industrial Revolution and remained a problem throughout it, but I’d never heard of Saint Monday, for instance.
I found the article via the Atlantic’s new ideas blog, which is being written by Conor Friedersdorf–more about which later.
Update: In a comment to this post, my friend Julian suggests a very nice piece of academic history on changing conceptions of time and work for those who want to read more.