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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Buzz: "Shop Class as Soulcraft" by Matthew Crawford

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford, is described in the New York Times as a "beautiful little book about human excellence and the way it is undervalued in contemporary America." Mr. Crawford, who holds a Ph.D. in political philosophy, is also a mechanic and runs a motorcycle repair shop. The book concerns the joy and rewards in work that involves making things, as opposed to sitting in a cubical at a call center.

If you are interested in reading this book, you might also want to listen to an interview with Mr. Crawford that took place on the Diane Rehm Show from NPR.

Mr. Crawford - an author, philosopher, Ph.D., mechanic, and entrepreneur who apparently also has a strong streak of discipline and ambition - is the poster child for a liberal arts education, in my opinion. His various interests look to be unified by his ability to think critically, organize those thoughts coherently, and communicate clearly. Crawford seems to be living an interesting life. I look forward to reading his book to find out if it is equally as interesting.

Related: Raising Kids Who Can Thrive Amid Chaos in Their Careers by Sue Shellenbarger writing in the Wall Street Journal. Discusses job market skills to install in young people, including adaptability, exploration and entrepreneurial thinking.


  1. Nice post:

    You might enjoy Fish's blog and, dare I say it, my book Big Sid's Vincati.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Big Sid. And thanks for the link to Stanley Fish's blog. I will definitely check out your book. Looks like this is your web site:

  3. Hi Amy,

    Another very smart blog is up and I invite you to comment on it:

  4. Amy-

    I've been very curious to read "Shop Class" and will be exited to hear what you think if you get to it before me. Hope you and Bill are well.


  5. Hey, Joel: Great to hear from you! Hope you are doing well. The book is in my 'to read' stack. I'll definitely post about it. This week, valuable reading time is being diverted to "laissez les bon temps roulez" activities due to arrival of summer weather coinciding with threat by North Korea to wipe U.S. off the globe. LOL!! Seize the day!