The Craftsman

The Craftsman

3.83 (1,278 ratings by Goodreads)
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Craftsmanship, says Richard Sennett, names the basic human impulse to do a job well for its own sake, and good craftsmanship involves developing skills and focusing on the work rather than ourselves. The computer programmer, the doctor, the artist, and even the parent and citizen all engage in a craftsman's work. In this thought-provoking book, Sennett explores the work of craftsmen past and present, identifies deep connections between material consciousness and ethical values, and challenges received ideas about what constitutes good work in today's world. The Craftsman engages the many dimensions of skill-from the technical demands to the obsessive energy required to do good work. Craftsmanship leads Sennett across time and space, from ancient Roman brickmakers to Renaissance goldsmiths to the printing presses of Enlightenment Paris and the factories of industrial London; in the modern world he explores what experiences of good work are shared by computer programmers, nurses and doctors, musicians, glassblowers, and cooks. Unique in the scope of his thinking, Sennett expands previous notions of crafts and craftsmen and apprises us of the surprising extent to which we can learn about ourselves through the labor of making physical things.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 27.94mm | 386g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0
  • 0300151195
  • 9780300151190
  • 30,277

Review quote

"In The Craftsman [Sennett] compellingly explores the universe of skilled work, where 'the desire to do a job well done for its own sake' still flourishes."-Brian C. Anderson, Wall Street Journal
"An inquiring, intelligent look at how the work of the hand informs the work of the mind."-New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
"Sennett's 'guiding intuition' in The Craftsman is that 'making is thinking.' . . . [The] book gathers case after case in which we see how the work of the hand can inform the work of the mind."-Lewis Hyde, New York Times Book Review

"A powerful meditation on the 'skill of making things well.'"-The New Yorker

"Sennett looks at the evolution of craftsmanship and the historical forces which have stultified it, how it's learned in the areas it still thrives, and issues of quality and ability. Sennett's learned but inclusive prose proves entirely readable, and the breadth of his curiosity . . . take him in a number of fascinating directions."-Publishers Weekly
A 2008 Top Seller in Philosophy as compiled by YBP Library Services
Selected as one of the best books of 2008 by Scott McLemee of Barnes & Noble Review
Richard Sennett is the winner of the 2010 Spinoza Prize, sponsored by the International Spinoza Award Foundation
"As Richard Sennett makes clear in this lucid and compelling book, craftsmanship once connected people to their work by conferring pride and meaning. The loss of craftsmanship-and of a society that values it-has impoverished us in ways we have long forgotten but Sennett helps us understand."-Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, and author of Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life
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About Richard Sennett

Richard Sennett is professor of sociology at New York University and at The London School of Economics. Before becoming a sociologist, he studied music professionally. He has received many awards and honors, most recently the 2006 Hegel Prize for lifetime achievement in the humanities and social sciences.
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Rating details

1,278 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 28% (362)
4 39% (502)
3 22% (286)
2 8% (97)
1 2% (31)
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