Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work

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Penguin, May 28, 2009 - Philosophy - 256 pages
23 Reviews
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.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wjmcomposer - LibraryThing

This book irritated me to no end. Where one word would suffice, Two were used, and at least one would be a word chosen to impress the reader that this was no ordinary grease monkey, but some kind of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wjmcomposer - LibraryThing

This book irritated me to no end. Where one word would suffice, Two were used, and at least one would be a word chosen to impress the reader that this was no ordinary grease monkey, but some kind of ... Read full review

Contents

The Psychic Satisfactions of Manual Work
The Cognitive Demands of Manual Work
Art Crafts and the Assembly Line
Back to the Past?
The Degradation of BlueCollar Work
The Degradation of WhiteCollar Work
Everyone an Einstein
The Tradesman as Stoic
The Motorcycle Antiquarian
Shockoe Moto
Writing Service Tickets
Of Madness a Magna and Metaphysics
Indexing and Abstracting
Learned Irresponsibility
What College Is For
Teamwork

The Motorcycle as Mule
From the Hand Pump to the Idiot Light and Beyond
Agency versus Autonomy
The Betty Crocker Cruiser
Displaced Agency
The Wouldbe Apprentice
String Theory
The Mentor
Forensic Wrenching
Personal Knowledge
Seeing Clearly or Unselfishly
Idiocy as an Ideal
The Crew versus the Team
Of Ohms Law and Muddy Boots
The Tacit Knowledge of the Firefighter and the Chess Master
Personal Knowledge versus Intellectual Technology
The Service Manual as Social Technology
The Groove of the Speed Shop
Community
Wholehearted Activity
Solidarity and the Aristocratic Ethos
The Importance of Failure
Individual Agency in a Shared World
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Matthew B. Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. He has a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago and served as a postdoctoral fellow on its Committee on Social Thought. Currently a fellow at the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, he owns and operates Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, Virginia.

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