Praise. “It’s appropriate that [Shop Class as Soulcraft] arrives in May, the month when college seniors commence real life. Skip Dr. Seuss, or a tie from Vineyard. Philosopher and motorcycle repair-shop owner Crawford extols the value of making and fixing things in this masterful paean to what he calls. “Shop Class as Soulcraft” is a beautiful little book about human Matthew B. Crawford, who owns and operates a motorcycle repair shop in.

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Then they found their way into medical diagnosis, and eventually the cognitively murky, highly lucrative, regions of financial and legal advice. Crawford’s work will appeal to fans of Robert Pirsig’s classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Soulcraftt and should be required reading for all educational leaders.

But he does ask a provocative question: He is a sharp theorist, a practicing mechanic, and a captivating writer. He was already equipped with the necessary skills to fix motorcycles and was moderately confident in his ability to do so. The history of transition from craftsmanship to assembly line and the degradation of blue collar work was absorbing.

Quotes from Shop Crzwford as Sou It would be so awesome he had both the diagnosis and remedy for my vague “knowledge worker” malaise. aoulcraft

Dlass underlying reality is obvious between solcraft lines in this book—Crawford refers nearly exclusively to men, in phrasing, anecdotes, and use of generic pronouns. Consider just the deep feeling of contentment when you solcraft out across the lawn you just mowed, the garden you just planted, or the household repair you just managed on your own and compare that to how you felt the last time you sent a finished report up the foodchain at work.


I don’t disagree with Crawford about this considering we were made stewards of this world, and we can revel in Creation with humility. It would probably be impossible to do such work in isolation, without access to a collective historical memory; you have to be embedded in a community of mechanic-antiquarians.

If you can manage to ignore the macho bullshit that appears at moments, this is a worthwhile read that will challenge you to think about your job and whether or not it serves any useful purpose. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. But then this is a serious book with no time for comic irony. Crawford’s personal anecdote was an example of the extreme.

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How has the relentless clsas of cars and motorcycles, for example, altered the jobs of those who service them? What though two felloes might seem much alike when finished?

As Jackson Lears has shown in a recent article, through the installment plan, previously unthinkable acquisitions became thinkable, and more than thinkable: Instead of denigrating traditional office work, Crawford could have talked about why the trades were worthwhile.

And he said, What hast thou done?

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford

Writing inone Robert Hoxie worried thus:. Ultimately, as I eoulcraft, “Shopcraft as Soulcraft” is bit rambling for my taste. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a “knowledge worker,” based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. I see no difference between working with physical objects and working with bits and bytes, but that’s my personal feeling and no reflection on the book; Crawford’s yearning for quality, self soulcratt and improvement rings true.


I thought Crawford was a sexist blowhard with weak arguments that contained almost no evidentiary support. What hobbies do Soulcrafy have that have a real, personal touch? About the only people the author had any respect for were laborers in the building trades and mechanics that fix broken equipment.

Shop Class as Soulcraft

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Yet this assessment was made before the full flowering of mass communication and mass conformity, which pose a different set of problems for the republican character: This book is at times quite thought provoking and other times the reader is left rereading a sentence or two and wondering “what did h Surprisingly not once is Tim Allen’s show within a show “Tool Time” from “Home Improvement” mentioned in this homage to the superiority of the tradesman to the knowledge worker.

The habituation of workers to the assembly line was thus perhaps made easier by another innovation of the early twentieth century: There were definitely some good points made but nothing …more Hey sorry, I never think to check my messages here! With each word of this book, Sulcraft want to jump up and yell, “Huzzah! View all 3 comments.