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The Case for Working with Your Hands, Or, Why Office Work Is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good Paperback – March 1, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

One of the most influential thinkers of our time Sunday Times Masterly Economist The best book I have read for ages ... a profound exploration of modern education, work and capitalism ... I happen to know it is in [Education Secretary] Mr Gove's in-tray ... its analysis applies with horrible precision to our education system -- Matthew D'ancona Telegraph A philosophy of how life should be lived, how children should be educated and how economies should be run ... Full of interesting stories and thought-provoking apercus enlivened with humour ... Important, memorable and enjoyable -- Louis De Bernieres The Times A next-generation Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to rally the millions who feel emotionally disconnected from work Financial Times A powerful new book -- David Willetts, Universities And Science Minister Telegraph Persuasive and timely The Times A deep exploration of craftsmanship by someone with real hands-on knowledge. Quirky, surprising and moving -- Richard Sennett A stunning indictment of the modern workplace ... Crawford points in the direction of a richer, more fulfilling way of life. This is a book that will endure -- Reihan Salam The Atlantic A beautiful little book about human excellence New York Times A superb combination of testimony and reflection, and you can't put it down -- Harvey Mansfield, Professor Of Government At Harvard A bestseller in the United States, but its critique of 'post-industrial' capitalism is equally pertinent here ... Will be enjoyed for its iconoclasm, swagger and dry humour Telegraph No one who cares about the future of human work can afford to ignore this book -- Jackson Lears, Editor Of Raritan A masterpiece filled with surprises Dallas Morning News The best self-help book that I've ever read. Kind of like Heidegger and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Slate A breakout success ... touched a big nerve, quickly becoming a national best seller and generating widespread publicity New York Times A surprise hit ... Americans, perhaps, have found their guide Financial Times While the specifics come from American experience, almost everything in the book also holds true for Britain -- Ian Jack Guardian May upend your preconceptions about labour and, just maybe, cause you to rethink your career (or how you spend your weekends) ... Impassioned and profound Washington Post [A] tender, wise little volume ... Crawford is a kindred spirit --Lionel Shriver Elegant and humorous The Times A short book that punches hard and deserves to spark off a wide debate Herald Scotland The sleeper hit of the publishing season Boston Globe

About the Author

Matthew 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 Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he also runs Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Viking (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141047291
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141047294
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading Shop Class as Soul Craft and thought this was possibly the sequel to that book. However, The Case for Working with your Hands is the same book as Shop Class, but the European edition. Maybe I didn't read the discription carefully enough, though Amnazon lists this book to purchase along with the original American edition. Caveat Emptor!

(4 Stars is for the actual book. I hate when people give 1 star beacause of this type of issue or it's not available in Kindle. Stars should be for the quality of the book itself).
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Format: Paperback
Most work becomes boring through repetition and yet we have to do it. University degrees have not resulted in job satisfaction. Agricultural work was once backbreaking and white collar work warm dry and well paid. Now we have issues with meaningless mind work and this is an argument for the old days of understandable hands on labour. When work is only for extracting maximum money the fun goes out of it. This is the gist of what I understand the book to mean. It is written in a mix of academic philosphical language and then again in other chapters in a more a interesting conversational anecdotal way. I disagree with the premise that its only manual work that is satisfying. I do not think that its not an issue of the kind of work but rather one of the freedoms of self employment versus life in paid jobs. He seems not to make this point even when he describes how company managers have to hire motivational speakers to persuade the battery chickens to like their coop, more than spend time managing quality. Overall I enjoyed the book though it could be shorter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful book. I've read it twice. This book should be read by anyone who thinks upward mobility is the answer to their prosperity.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is my 5th copy of the book, as I give it to graduation presents to my younger friends and family members. Having come up through the blue collar ranks myself, I relate to this book. While the author uses a vocabulary that is advanced to say the least, and goes on and on in some of the paragraphs, his point never waivers. For anyone who has tackled a DIY project or built something from their own minds, this is what that is about. The ability to do for yourself, the ability to see actual work come to life; whether it's changing your oil, doing your own breaks, building a book shelf or play house for your children. From beginning to end the work and progress can be measured. This book is about rekindling that itch to just build it. Highly recommend.
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