Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Growing up in the Sixties and Seventies off-the-grid, I learned to milk a cow, bake bread, fill and clean kerosene lamps, sew and mend clothes, and knit. I worked painting houses, doing construction, and gardening. In place of pay, I experienced a deep sense of satisfaction in doing a good job just for the love of it. In Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew Crawford explains why this kind of doing and making brings such satisfaction, how our inherent need for meaningful work has been manufactured out of (most of) our daily lives, and what we can do about it. Sure, the book came out almost 10 years ago, but the concepts are timeless. Give it a read!

— From Dana


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.

About the Author

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.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143117469
ISBN-10: 0143117467
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: April 27th, 2010
Pages: 246
Language: English