Back in the 1970s, Newsweek ran an article about night-shift work and life as the "frontier" -- less authority, more marginal characters, fewer rules. I looked up the article once as part of a projected project on "night."
But this is the book that I would have written if I had the talent and focus: At Day's Close: Night in Times Past.
As the New York Times reviewer writes,
'At Day's Close,'' however, is less a history of night than a bizarre sort of elegy for it. In an epilogue, the author expresses deep reservations about modernity's profligate illumination. ''With darkness diminished,'' he warns, ''opportunities for privacy, intimacy and self-reflection will grow more scarce.'' While others blame television or video games for our cultural decay, Ekirch thinks we're on an apocalyptic slide into fluorescence.
The book's publication has another scholar thinking about writing. I am looking for a new long project myself, but it won't be the book about night that I saved clippings for.