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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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Shop Class as Soulcraft: 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.
Hardcoverpages. Published May 28th by Penguin Pr first published United States of America. Borders Original Voices Award for Nonfiction To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Shop Class as Soulcraftplease sign up. While I was very drawn by he title, I was a bit take aback by the rating. Francie Hey sorry, I never think to check my messages here! I think I was bored more than anything.
There were definitely some good points made but nothing …more Hey sorry, I never think to check my messages here! There were definitely some good points made but nothing that wasn’t common sense to me. I think I was hoping for earth-shattering wisdom. See 2 questions about Shop Class as Soulcraft…. Lists with This Book. It was at times a bit idealistic, but the points that Crawford makes are more often than not valid and worthy of contemplation.
He does seem prone to sweeping statements rather than simple conclusions, but aren’t we all? The main hypothesis is that thinking and doing are inseparable from each other. And our modern life is obsessed with attempting to separate them. This causes an unnecessary psychic distancing between ourselves and our work value, which in turn affects our fulfillment.
Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew B. Crawford | : Books
I greatly en It was at times a bit idealistic, but the points that Crawford makes are more often than not valid and worthy of contemplation. I greatly enjoyed his personal account of working as an electrician and mechanic. The notes in the back, marked throughout the book, were both useful references and contained great anecdotal stories that enhanced the overall book.
I would recommend reading them in-line with the main text. Aug 11, Ken-ichi rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Crawford argues that society undervalues working with your hands, and that physically manipulating the world demands as much intellectual rigor and is as fulfilling as any other profession, if not more so. Essays on Technical Change Crawford argues repeatedly that such knowledge is ignored or misunderstood as something that shpo be replicated by procedure or machines, and I sojlcraft agree.
It’s also the kind of thing that’s difficult to ascertain in a job interview, but is potentially more important than the explicit forms of knowledge that are easily discernible. He rags on theory quite a bit. I sympathize with his tirade against a society that aspires to be a bunch of disembodied heads in jarsbut I think he goes too far in equating all theorists to the absent-minded professors he derides.
Shop Class as Soulcraft – The New Atlantis
However, I totally agree with the underlying notion that craaford is a form of thinking. Don’t get me started I imagine the same soulcradt true of musical performance. Thought is far more than simply getting lost in your frawford mind. It also demonstrates our own reality when we alter clas external world in ways that can be verified by others.
I disagree that this kind of engagement is exclusive to working with your hands, but I think the point is excellent: It provides an invaluable sense of reality that the self-conscious mind needs well, mine does. Furthermore, your work demonstrates your reality even more when you’re connected to the people who it affects.
A customer waiting for craford 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 my job, or my life? My primary engagements with the physical world are through cooking, which I assiduously avoid doing in objective i. However, though he might not recognize it as such, my profession of software engineering is far more akin to motorcycle repair than the kind of subjective perception management he sees in most white collar work. I do make things that real people use, and I am connected to those people.
I operate within constraints, and my work is never perfect, but improves iteratively, and experience grants me both tacit and explicit understanding of successful practices and patterns.
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Our company culture is a lot more like the shop crew Crawford lauds than the corporate team he despises, perhaps due to the same ability to point to objective snop as the ultimate proof of value. 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.
Most of his historical segments also shopp to rely heavily on a few, secondary sources Harry BravermanT. View all 10 comments. Aug 17, Mary rated it it was amazing Shelves: With each word of this book, I want to jump up and yell, “Huzzah!
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 clasa would do for themselves if they didn’t hav With each word of this book, I want to jump up and yell, “Huzzah! 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 crawfprd professional to do it for them.
Most of today’s office jobs are essentially just like the factory jobs of yesteryear: Work should be engaging, productive, satisfying, and lifelong. This is the type of book that’s capable of changing enough minds to really make this happen.
I really liked the idea behind this book or clads least what I thought the idea would be from the book cover – which defended jobs that require real, measurable work over the “information” or “knowledge” work that is so common today. My initial impression was that this could even be targeted towards the high-school student deciding what career to pursue – and after reading a number of technical books, I was looking forward to some lighter reading for a vacation.
However, this book started and ende I really liked the idea behind this book or at least what I thought the idea would be from the book cover – which defended jobs that require real, measurable work over the “information” or “knowledge” work that is so common today.
However, this book started and ended highly philosophically with plenty more in the middle – not the easy read that I was looking for. At other times, the author would speak more plainly about some of his work as an electrician or mechanic – which was both interesting and written very well.
In the end, I think that the information on the cover misrepresented the book and in general I find myself very frustrated with authors that write things in very complicated ways that could very easily be written in straightforward language, so I was not a big fan of this one.
Nov 02, Rob rated it did not like it Shelves: It failed to redeem itself. In general terms, any book which can be summarized as “A treatise on the moral an intellectual virtues of this practice, which I happen to participate” is worthy of crawgord skepticism, but when the subtext might further read “Justifying my life decisions” then you know you’re in trouble.
This book jumps into this category with both feet. I won’t say there are no good ideas in here – the thesis that there is much value to be found in “real” work is one I wholehear Finished. I won’t say there are no good ideas in here – the thesis that there is much value to be found in “real” work is zhop I wholeheartedly support – but this book is mostly wasted space.
There is material for a REALLY good essay in here that has been spun out and unnecessarily padded to make an entire book.
It is the very quality of this thesis which renders the book so maddening. Every time he comes within sight of a topic that might take the book outside the narrow sphere of justifying his own choices, the matter is touched on briefly, then discarded in favor of the author’s experiences, which are interesting, but offer little in the way of real insight.
As the author presented his thesis I was full of excitement – this could spill into discussion of the resurgence of maker culture, the growth of open source, the hacker ethos and so many other vibrant modern movements that celebrate this idea of making and working with real things. Sadly, it was not to be, and these experiences are apparently limited solely to the author and those whose work he understands and participates in. In places, they even work against him. One of the brighter points of the text is a dissection of corporate team-building, which is promptly undercut by his tales of his own white collar experience, presented as typical.
If you had a college degree and were making 23k a year in Silicon Valley in the 90’s, you were not a white collar worker, you were a rube – you could have made more working at Taco Bell. The kind of place that treated workers that way would naturally be exactly the worst kind of environment, and while I’m sorry the author ended up in that situation, he’s extrapolated a lot from it. All this might be forgivable if this was a primarily biographical text, but it’s not. It’s a polemic, and not a very good one.
Elements of biography are used well, but then they are used as launching points for rants supporting the author’s pet political, social and philosophical ideals. The best thing I can say about this book is that it very successfully refactors a lot of The Communist Manifesto into modern terminology. That sounds facetious, I know – comparing the author’s works with Marx seems like an idea out of left field – but it’s an almost inescapable conclusion in parts. The author’s own citations of Marx and his supporters suggest this may be intentional it would be more troubling if it was not but the disdain for intellectuals coupled with the strong emphasis of the strong moral virtues of the worker a specific sort of worker, in fact make the comparison inescapable.
A number of reviews also left me with the impression that there would be some treatment of the role and value of vocational education. This is simply not the case, which is intensely disappointing. This seems to be one of those books that makes a great summary and is frequently reviewed on the strength of that summary, rather than the far weaker book it represents. Jun 23, Suzanne rated it did not like it.
I really wanted to like this book. I read an excerpt and really enjoyed it. The first half was pretty good, and had some interesting things to say about the nature of work and the value of satisfaction.