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on 22 September 2012
This is a really great book. A transformative work that might prove, in time, to be hugely influential. It's also a very enjoyable, fascinating, engaging, personal read.

What kind of book is it? I don't describe it as an exhaustive account of "craftwork", specific crafts now or historical. But it does contain a lot of interesting detail along such line, used for convincing effect. It is a philosophical book, deeply questioning our being in the world as physical beings making things and being made. It's not an entirely comprehensive account of philosophy's relationship with making (no discussion of Heidegger's Question Concerning Technology, no mention of the double meaning of Nietzsche's "philosophize with a hammer" and its double meaning, no mention of Deleuze and Guattari's "how to make yourself a body without organs" or their account of the handyman and the production of production). But that doesn't matter. The book works as a powerful intervention. Industrial fabrication of consumables, concepts and people has taken over. Philosophers in many cases have responded with vacuity (Sennett is a bit harsh on Arendt, but maybe its justified). Sennett brings us back down to earth and points out a whole area of human (and non-human) material existence that may well offer a different ethical route.

Dewey's (little read) Democracy and Education is a key starting point, although it doesn't become explicit until later on in the book. Sennett is in the pragmatist tradition. But he recognises the limitations of Dewey's account of experience (and its basis in material action). Sennett goes beyond Dewey, with a materialism that recognises the power of material and tools to instruct and inspire. This would link up well with the "vibrant materialism" explored by Jane Bennett in her recent book of Bergson, Deleuze, Guattari et al.

Would I recommend this? Yes, to anyone. It is a challenging read. But will provide plenty of material for you to work up into a new life and a new society.
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on 23 January 2015
An essential read for all of us involved with the crafts, whether makers, teachers or patrons. And think of 'craft' widely: film-making, writing, dance, cooking, dentristry - nearly everything where there's a direct relationship between the maker and the object. And when you've finished this book, read more of Sennett's. He's great thinker/writer.
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on 18 March 2017
Great Book. Fantastic for my University Course. A real insight into the topic.
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on 8 June 2013
...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 14 January 2017
amazing book
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on 8 June 2013
...and compulsory reading for anyone interested in the way the way that work practices have developed and the cultural meaning thereof. What a pity Amazon doesn't pay its proper level of UK taxes.
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on 6 February 2016
Every craftsman/woman should read it. I give it as a present to my craftsfolk friends.
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on 19 April 2016
Good
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on 15 January 2016
Interesting read. Opened my mind up to aspects I didn't think about in making, memorising, materials etc it's worth trying to read.
packaged arrived on time and securely.
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on 29 July 2014
this book is an example of clear and accessible writing and extremely relevant in this time of internet saturation by the
young.
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