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The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life Paperback – Bargain Price, January, 2004
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Florida, an academic whose field is regional economic development, explains the rise of a new social class that he labels the creative class. Members include scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists, and entertainers. He defines this class as those whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. In general this group shares common characteristics, such as creativity, individuality, diversity, and merit. The author estimates that this group has 38 million members, constitutes more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and profoundly influences work and lifestyle issues. The purpose of this book is to examine how and why we value creativity more highly than ever and cultivate it more intensely. He concludes that it is time for the creative class to grow up--boomers and Xers, liberals and conservatives, urbanites and suburbanites--and evolve from an amorphous group of self-directed while high-achieving individuals into a responsible, more cohesive group interested in the common good. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A powerful, insightful book that reveals the core of regional advantage in the knowledge economy. Never before have I seen anyone capture so succinctly the values and desires of the new 'creative class' and the essence of human capital and the creative ethos. This is a book you will read cover to cover and feel enlightened by every chapter." --John Seely Brown, Former Director, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and co-author of The Social Life of Information
"The Rise of the Creative Class is an insightful portrait of the values and lifestyles that will drive the 21st century economy, its technologies and social structures. To understand how scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other self-motivated, creative people are challenging the traditional structures of the 20th century society, read this book. It will convince you that success in the future is not about technology, government, management or even power; it is all about people and their dynamic and emergent patterns of relationships." --Lewis M. Brancomb, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
"The Rise of the Creative Class is an insightful portrait of the values and lifestyles that will drive the 21st century economy, its technologies and social structures. To understand how scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other self-motivated, creative people are challenging the traditional structures of the 20th century society, read this book. It will convince you that success in the future is not about technology, government, management or even power; it is all about people and their dynamic and emergent patterns of relationships." --Lewis M. Brancomb, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The liveliest economies, he finds, are in regions characterized by the 3 T's -- talent, technology, and tolerance. The implications are profound, to wit:
1. Conventional wisdom holds that, to boost an area's economy, it's necessary to attract large companies and thus create jobs. In fact, companies locate where the talent is; all the tax breaks in the world won't bring a large company to your area if they can't find the quality of employees they want there. Often, too, the talent itself will generate new companies and create jobs that way.
2. Urban planners assume that, to attract talent/jobs, what's important is to provide infrastructure: sports stadiums, freeways, shopping centers, etc. In fact, creative people prefer authenticity -- so making your city just like everyplace else is a sure way to kill its attractiveness.
3. The often-misunderstood "gay index" doesn't mean that gay people are more creative, or that attracting gays to a community will ipso facto boost its economy. Creative people tend to prefer gay-friendly communities because they're perceived as tolerant of anyone who isn't "mainstream"; a city that's run by a conservative good-ole-boys network isn't a good place to try to start a business unless you're one of the good ole boys.
The book is primarily descriptive and analytical, rather than prescriptive. But I feel it's immensely valuable for pointing out that much of the conventional wisdom about economic development and community planning is just plain wrong, and suggesting alternative approaches that have a greater chance of succeeding. And I'm amused (and bemused) by the reviewers who sneered that this book propounds an elitist, liberal, contempt-for-the-working-masses view of American society. To me, the book is almost TOO descriptive: didn't these reviewers read the many statistical tables and the lengthy analyses that the author provides? Fact: The most economically successful cities and regions have these characteristics. That isn't propaganda; it's the way things work.
Anyway, I found the book full of a lot of statistics that he used to prove his theory correct. Except where it didn't fit...He seems to think that the entire creative class is a bunch of hippies who live to work and listen to cool music and live in tight neighborhood where they can either sit in coffee shops and collaborate or sit in bars and collaborate.
In any case,clearly, the entire class does not meet those standards. As a result, I found he gives a lot of mixed messages that leave one neither hungry nor full.
The end has some good points, but they are mostly obvious-and he doesn't explain how these things are to come about except for the class as a whole to rise up and make it happen.
Finally,I get the idea that he thinks the creative class is something new (even though he acknowledges that creative people have always existed. He vilifies Ford and the assembly line-forgetting that Ford created the assembly line-it was a creative act that launched a new era in manufacturing.
Now we are in a new age moving to an information and knowledge economy. But, we are not there yet. It may take decades before this fully happens. Yet he does not speak of a transition -just one day we are industrial age and the next we are thinkers....
I expected more from this book and, sadly, I didn't get it.