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Praise. “It’s appropriate that [Shop Class as Soulcraft] arrives in May, the month when college seniors commence real life. Skip Dr. Seuss, or a tie from Vineyard. Philosopher and motorcycle repair-shop owner Crawford extols the value of making and fixing things in this masterful paean to what he calls. “Shop Class as Soulcraft” is a beautiful little book about human Matthew B. Crawford, who owns and operates a motorcycle repair shop in.

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Shop Class as Soulcraft

The only problem is, most of the book is so ruthlessly unreadable that after struggling and flogging myself through the first half, I simply had to give up and put it down.

At least this one did In the passage I read, the author, Michael Crawford, recounts an anecdote from Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” where a disengaged and careless young motorcycle mechanic My bookstore browsing process is to find a book that looks interesting, pick it up, open to a random page and start reading.

I had been looking forward to reading this for some time. See and discover other items: The economic rationale so often offered, namely that manual work is somehow going to disappear, is questionable if not preposterous, so it is in the murky realm of culture that we must look to understand these things. My coworker might, say, have a disturbing obsession with cats, but man, that comment plugin he wrote is seamless, and we never have to fix it.

That attendant value associated with work earned by sweat of the proverbial brow is substantially lower than say, work done by day traders, doctors, lawyers and actors. I am reminded of CS Lewis’ essay “Good Work and Good Works” in which he says that the only jobs that are worth doing are the things that people would do for themselves if they didn’t have a professional to do it for them.

And whereas our ancestors at least had the satisfaction of harvesting a finished good or producing one start to finish, the specialization of labor and the rise of bureaucracy and white collar jobs has only exacerbated our sense that our hours of work are disconnected from the production of anything meaningful. Skilled manual labor entails a systematic encounter with the material world, precisely the kind of encounter that gives rise to natural science.


I sold women’s handbags. Stalin was a big fan, as were the founders of the first MBA program, at Harvard, where Taylor was invited to lecture annually. This is a book that will endure. Jan 03, Michael rated it liked it. It is particularly impressive that he could be be so articulate in honoring the workers whose contributions are so necessary in any society.

If you think hey this would be a great book for my father because he likes to work on cars or in the woodshed, then don’t get this book. My real concern here is not with the economics of skilled manual work, but rather with its intrinsic satisfactions. Crawford can be reached via matthewbcrawford.

Changing attitudes toward consumption seemed to play a role. Better still, Crawford points in the direction of a richer, more fulfilling way of life. Seuss, or a tie from Vineyard Vines, and give them a copy for graduation…. Please try again later.

If you need a deck built, or your car fixed, the Chinese are of no help. I’ve read “Shop Class as Soulcraft” twice and have urged friends to read it, too. I offer no program, only an observation that might be of interest to anyone called upon to give guidance to the young. Furthermore, your work soulcraf your reality even more when you’re connected to the people who it affects.

Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford | : Books

But it dovetailed with, and gave a higher urgency to, the nascent culture of luxury consumption. A customer waiting for his bike to be fixed generates far more poignancy than some distant consumer who may or may not drink the soda produced by the machines your underling’s underling’s underling’s underling oversaw. So, given all that, what would Crawford think of crawfor job, or my life?

As Sennett argues, most people take pride in being good at something specific, which happens through the accumulation of experience. 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 soulcrat wisdom, and points the way to a profoundly necessary reconnection with the material world.

This is not soulcraftt book about how you can make more money as a plumber than by going to law school.


Political theorists from Aristotle to Thomas Jefferson have questioned the republican virtue of the mechanic, finding him too narrow in his concerns to be moved by the public good. I don’t think this book was written for most tradesmen; they know intuitively that they engage in their practices for their intrinsic goods. These zhop activities at which it is possible to fail–in fact, you are almost guaranteed to fail at first.

Xoulcraft was utterly taken with this book, first to last. All this might be forgivable if this was a primarily biographical text, but it’s not. The Education of a Craftsman.

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford

It would be so awesome he had both the diagnosis and remedy for my vague “knowledge worker” malaise. Books by Matthew B. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

This seems to me to ignore the simple architectonics of democracy. Wave your hands under it, and a stream of water emerges, unless lcass doesn’t, no matter how much waving you do.

And indeed, there are fewer occasions for the kind of spiritedness that is called forth when we take things in hand for ourselves, whether to fix them or to make them. My bookstore browsing process is to find a book that looks interesting, pick it up, open to a random page and start reading.

Street-level work that disrupts the infrastructure the sewer system below or the electrical grid above brings our shared dependence into view. Since manual work has been subject soulcradt routinization for over a century, the nonroutinized manual work that remains, outside the confines of the factory, would seem to be zoulcraft to much further routinization. I want to know crasford the trades fit into the economy, not how they fit into a philosophical theory. The main hypothesis is that thinking and doing are inseparable from each other.