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Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2012
I heard Sennett on the BBC radio recently 'in dialogue' about this book. He practices what he preaches (and suggests) in an admirable fashion. This book is a great service to 21st-century society. He has begun the task of a restoration of a sense of nobility and value in the often-discredited notions of 'humanism', 'community' and 'collective.' Sennett's book is a nuanced antidote to narrow, selfish, acquisitive individualism. His book will appeal to academic non-specialist readers alike.

I've long admired Montaigne's mature blog-like essays and find in them a mercurial pre-modernity that our post-modernity could learn much from. Sennett sent me back to read them again with fresh insight and renewed optimism.

The perceptive and distinguished Mr Sennett has harnessed a variety and range of otherwise fragmented topics into an appealing new ethics and practice of co-operation. This book marks a valued addition to an ongoing project to rethink life, arts/crafts and creativity.

For British readers I would also add a recommendation for Henry Hemming's Together: How Small Groups Achieve Big Things.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2012
For those who have read "The Craftsman", Richard Sennet needs no introduction. Even tough he does not provide us with another masterpiece, Sennet presents here the deep roots of our potencialities and difficulties to collaborate with one another. For those who try to go deeper in determining if collaboration in organizations will have its way in the future, it is necessary to read this book
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2012
A fascinating discussion of the forces destroying social cohesion in western cultures, slowly spreading across the globe with increased materialism and globalisation of employment.

Analysis of the strategies to overcome the social isolation and how to work "together" provides a starting point for any reader concerned with what has been misleadingly called "The Big Society", at a time of considerable constraint on funding and attack of "social welfare".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
...from the Craftsman and finding it a wealth of knowledge presented, as in The Craftsman, in a very readable and pleasurable form. Sadly, Amazon doesn't pay its fair amount of UK corporate taxes.
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on 8 November 2014
Argues that today the traditional bonds that keep society together are waning, and that we must develop new forms of secular, civic ritual, that make us more effective in living together with others. In essence, cooperation needs more than good will; it’s a craft that requires skill. A fascinating, and important, book, although the small typeface doesn’t make it an easy read. (A problem solved by using the ebook version?). Also pity the role and importance of values and wisdom was not given greater explicit emphasis.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I am an admirer of Sennett's work, and recently saw him speak about this book at the Southbank. But the picture that emerges here is a bit confusing; there are certain types of cooperation that Sennett likes and other styles that he doesn't but these are not distinguished so much by action as by result. This gives proceedings a partial air, suggesting that some forms of cooperation are privileged over others, and it can be hard to tell exactly why. Sennett is right to attack the quasi-corporate cooperation based in superficial group 'working' that masks individual maneuvering, and the instant professional relationships that can be struck up given that no parties are actually committed to them, but the overall impression is that he can't quite define the issue his evidence is pointing to. The complex he describes of technological change, corporate power, political failure and social apathy is a debilitating one for any society, and by this account we certainly have it.
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on 2 April 2015
Really enjoyed this, as I did his other book - The Craftsman. I found it a difficult read though. Perhaps that's because I'm simple?
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