The Craftsman by Richard Sennett

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Craftsmanship, says Richard Sennett, names the basic human impulse to do a job well for its own sake, and good craftsmanship involves developing skills and focusing on the work rather than ourselves. The computer programmer, the doctor, the artist, and even the parent and citizen all engage in a craftsman’s work. In this thought-provoking book, Sennett explores the work of craftsmen past and present, identifies deep connections between material consciousness and ethical values, and challenges received ideas about what constitutes good work in today’s world. The Craftsman engages the many dimensions of skill—from the technical demands to the obsessive energy required to do good work. Craftsmanship leads Sennett across time and space, from ancient Roman brickmakers to Renaissance goldsmiths to the printing presses of Enlightenment Paris and the factories of industrial London; in the modern world he explores what experiences of good work are shared by computer programmers, nurses and doctors, musicians, glassblowers, and cooks. Unique in the scope of his thinking, Sennett expands previous notions of crafts and craftsmen and apprises us of the surprising extent to which we can learn about ourselves through the labor of making physical things. 

About Richard Sennett

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Richard Sennett is professor of sociology at New York University and at The London School of Economics. Before becoming a sociologist, he studied music professionally. He has received many awards and honors, most recently the 2006 Hegel Prize for lifetime achievement in the humanities and social sciences. His previous books include The Corrosion of Character:The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism, The Fall of Public Man, Respect in a World of Inequality, and The Culture of New Capitalism, the last published by Yale University Press. He lives in New York and London.
Published March 27, 2008 by Yale University Press. 336 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy, Education & Reference, Arts & Photography, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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The New York Times

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For Sennett the emblematic Enlightenment publication was Diderot’s “Encyclopedia, or Dictionary of Arts and Crafts.” In 35 volumes, this great work told its readers how to keep bees, make cider or wooden shoes, cure tobacco, prepare hemp, build a windmill, grind wheat, or — in the case that Senne...

Apr 06 2008 | Read Full Review of The Craftsman

The Guardian

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The Craftsman by Richard Sennett Allen Lane £25, pp325 Think of a 'craftsman' and you are likely to summon a nostalgic image of small, dusty workshops filled with patiently honed, bespoke objets, made by skilled artisans left all but extinct by cheap, mass-produced consumer goods.

Feb 17 2008 | Read Full Review of The Craftsman

The Guardian

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Most men and women today spend the largest chunk of their waking hours in getting to work, working, and socialising with people they know at work.

Feb 02 2008 | Read Full Review of The Craftsman

The Guardian

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The Craftsman by Richard Sennett 326pp, Allen Lane, £25 Richard Sennett is a prime observer of society, an American, a pragmatist who takes the nitty gritty of daily life and turns it into a disquisition on morality.

Feb 09 2008 | Read Full Review of The Craftsman

Publishers Weekly

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With this volume, author and sociologist Sennett (The Culture of the New Capitalism) launches a three-book examination of ""material culture,"" asking ""what the process of making concrete things reveals to us about ourselves."" Taking in everything from Pandora and Hephaestus to Linux programmer...

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Suite 101

The Viking Age has passed, but the longing for adventure and the love of a good tale still thrives where men meet the sea.

Feb 13 2011 | Read Full Review of The Craftsman

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