The Craftsman Paperback – 5 Feb 2009
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'Richard Sennett is a prime observer of society ... one of his great strengths, the thing that makes his narrative so gripping, is the sheer range of his thinking and his brilliance in relating the past to the present' - Fiona MacCarthy, The Guardian 'A lifetime's learning has gone into this book ... Sennett writes beautifully' - Roger Scruton, Sunday Times
From the Back Cover
'A masterpiece' Boyd Tonkin, Independent
Most of us have to work. But is work just a means to an end? In trying to make a living, have we lost touch with the idea of making things well?
In this provocative and enlightening book, Richard Sennett explores the idea of craftsmanship - the desire to do a job well for its own sake - as a template for living. Pure competition, he shows, will never produce good work. Instead, the values of the craftsman, whether in a Stradivari violin workshop or a modern laboratory, can enrich our lives and change the way we anchor ourselves in the world around us.
'Lively, engaging and pertinent ... a lifetime's learning has gone into the writing of this book' Roger Scruton, Sunday Times
'An enchanting writer with important things to say' Fiona MacCarthy, Guardian
'Enthralling ... Sennett is keen to reconnect thinking with making, to revive the simple pleasure in the everyday object and the useful task. There is something here for all of us' Edwin Heathcote, Financial Times
'A thoughtful and lovingly detailed assessment of what goes on when a person learns a craft ... he writes with perception and real feeling' Noel Malcolm, Sunday TelegraphSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Each chapter discusses a different aspect craftsmen and craftsmanship. Sennet draws on philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, science and history to examine each of the aspects. Each chapter asks a key question and sets out to find the answer. Sennet describes himself as a "philosophically-minded writer." While the writing is certainly philosophically driven, Sennet has a keen sense of narrative. In seeking out an answer he delves deep and moves across disciplines with grace, but also illustrates each of his points with a story from the history of a number of different crafts.
This book left me with a number threads that I want to follow further on my own. Although Sennet drew his own conclusions about the nature of craftsmanship, he's left his readers with a number of useful tools to start examining and improving their own craft.
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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