Skip to Content

Free download: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs

Mike Daisey has released the script of his controversial monologue on the Internet

Daisey. Photo:

UPDATE: Anybody who is interested in Mike Daisey’s work should first listen to the retraction prepared by This American Life here.

– – – –

Even as he performs an extended stay of his monologue 
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs
at the New York Public Theater, Mike Daisey has done a rare thing for a professional writer and performer. He has released the full text of his controversial exposé of working conditions in China’s electronics factories, inviting anyone who is interested to read, adapt, re-publish or perform it, in whole or in part.

“I’ve already received requests from more than 500 groups in 11 countries,” he says, “from mid-size regional theaters to a small community in Kurdistan on the Iraq border.”

You can download the pdf here.

“I don’t require credit,” he says, “but I do ask for it. And I do request that you let us know when you use it.”

The show, which debuted last January at the Berkeley Repertory Theater, helped draw worldwide attention to the low pay, long hours and, according to Daisey, underage workers in Foxconn’s Shenzhen factories. Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, assembles roughly 40% of the devices sold under such U.S. brands as Apple (AAPL), Cisco (CSCO), Dell (DELL), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT) and Motorola Mobility (MMI).

Foxconn has recently raised its wages and, at Apple’s request, opened its doors to a camera crew from ABC’s Nightline (see here). The moves followed a widely read series in the
New York Times
and the publicity generated by Daisey’s monologue, which was excerpted for radio and broadcast in January on PRI’s This American Life.

“The Mira Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong,” Daisey’s piece begins, “is exquisitely designed. It’s like the inside of a sailing ship: everything has a place and everything is in its place. I actually find myself opening and closing the little drawers just to see the intricate way they’re fitted together … I can’t help it. It’s just the way I’m wired.”

Click here for the rest.