We live in a frenzied world. Many of us find that the relentless pace and constant distractions of our lives greatly limit our abilities to do anything well, including forming an authentic identity. Being authentic is such a struggle that many people have given up the quest for an integrated, whole self.

Becoming Real: Authenticity in an Age of Distractions addresses this critical personal and cultural crisis. Through personal stories, spiritual ruminations, and philosophical analysis, Robert Sessions explores what it means to be authentic, suggesting paths to follow for those who wish to lead more genuine and happy lives.


“Sessions book is a wonder, from a wonderful man and a wonderful teacher. It dips down into the yearning we all have for being who we most truly are yet pulls up no formulas, no one-trick ponies. Sessions ranges in readings from ancient philosophy to modern politics, and uses them to tell of his life, and of yours. The authenticity we seek, he concludes, is not either/or. It is both/and. It is both love and courage, hope and faith, autonomy and connection, male and female, right and left, small town values and big city awareness. Spend a day with this marvelous philosopher of work and life. You owe it your authentic self.” –Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois at Chicago

“I have known and admired the work and ideas of Bob Sessions for several decades, and this book is no exception. Like Bob himself, it is wise, intelligent, compassionate and, to put it simply real. Well-researched and well-written, Becoming Real effectively challenges sacred cows across the political spectrum, including some of mine. At a time when much of academic philosophy seems an ivory tower competition of the opaque and semantic, Becoming Real examines real issues in a clear and practical manner. It is part of the new road map we need to create a livable future. I have only one bone to pick with the author. In this book, he says he is not cool, but in fact, he definitely is in the best sense of the word and so is this book. It deserves to be a best-seller.”–John de Graaf, co-author,  Affluenza and  What s The Economy For, Anyway?

We ignore a great deal of what is important about work if our only gauge is economic. Work shapes us and provides much of our identities. A great deal of what is meaningful in our lives comes through work. And bad work can deform and harm us.

Working In America: A Humanities Reader contains 75 articles, poems, and short stories that explore the many meanings and implications of work for humans today and in the past.  Each is prefaced by an introduction that helps make its meanings accessible to both students and independent readers. Working In America is used in a variety of humanities and social science courses in colleges across the country.