The Amateur by Andy Merrifield
The Pleasures of Doing What You Love

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It’s a stirring book whose critique of contemporary work culture will be instantly recognisable. It also doubles as a moving memoir of a working-class intellectual.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A passionate attack on the tyranny of experts

Modern life is being destroyed by experts and professionals. We have lost our amateur spirit and need to rediscover the radical and liberating pleasure of doing things we love.

In The Amateur, thinker Andy Merrifield shows us how the many spheres of our lives—work, knowledge, cities, politics—have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and rule followers. In response, he corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets, dabblers and square pegs who challenge the accepted wisdom. Such figures as Charles Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt and Jane Jacobs show us the way. As we will see the amateur takes risks, thinks the unthinkable and seeks independence—and changes the world.

The Amateur is a passionate manifesto for the liberated life, one that questions authority and reclaims the non–team player as a radical hero of our times.
 

About Andy Merrifield

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Born in Liverpool in 1960, Andy Merrifield taught geography for over a decade in assorted British and American universities. He is the author of four previous books, including biographies of two twentieth-century French philosophers. He now lives and writes in a small rural community in France's Auvergne region.
 
Published May 23, 2017 by Verso. 224 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Literature & Fiction, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Sukhdev Sandhu on May 14 2017

It’s a stirring book whose critique of contemporary work culture will be instantly recognisable. It also doubles as a moving memoir of a working-class intellectual.

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