Shop Class as Soulcraft An Inquiry into the Value of Work

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 4/27/2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Books

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A philosopher/mechanic's wise (and sometimes funny) look at the challenges and pleasures of working with one's hands

Called "the sleeper hit of the publishing season" (The Boston Globe), Shop Class as Soulcraft became an instant bestseller, attracting readers with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.

"This is a deep exploration of craftsmanship by someone with real, hands-on knowledge. The book is also quirky, surprising, and sometimes quite moving."-Richard Sennett, author of The Craftsman

"Matt Crawford has written a brave and indispensable book. By making a powerful case for the enduring value of the manual trades, Shop Class as Soulcraft offers a bracing alternative to the techno-babble that passes for conventional wisdom, and points the way to a profoundly necessary reconnection with the material world. No one who cares about the future of human work can afford to ignore this book."-Jackson Lears, Editor in Chief, Raritan

"We are on the verge of a national renewal. It will have more depth and grace if we read Crawford's book carefully and take it to heart. He is a sharp theorist, a practicing mechanic, and a captivating writer."-Albert Borgmann, author of Real American Ethics

Author Biography

Matthew B. Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. Currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he owns and operates Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, Virginia.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
A Brief Case for the Useful Artsp. 11
The Separation of Thinking from Doingp. 37
To Be Master of One's Own Stuffp. 54
The Education of a Gearheadp. 72
The Further Education of a Gearhead: From Amateur to Professionalp. 103
The Contradictions of the Cubiclep. 126
Thinking as Doingp. 161
Work, Leisure, and Full Engagementp. 180
Concluding Remarks on Solidarity and Self-Reliancep. 198
Acknowledgmentsp. 211
Notesp. 215
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Read this textbook. July 8, 2011
I think this is a great textbook! The art of working with our hands and doing physical labor is truly lost and must be revived. The author does a wonderful job of conveying the importance in what has become an almost lost art in so many ways in our modern society. This is definitely an important textbook, you should read this textbook. The textbook was a gift so I assume it was in perfect condition. It arrived fast and looked in perfect condition. I would order from this company again.
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Shop Class as Soulcraft An Inquiry into the Value of Work: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.

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