Together by Richard Sennett
The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-Operation

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In many ways this is an old-fashioned book, which is part of its charm. Unlike almost everything that is currently being published on social activity, it has very little brain science in it.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Living with people who differ - racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically - is one of the most difficult challenges facing us today. Though our society is becoming ever more complicated materially, we tend to avoid engaging with people unlike ourselves. Modern politics emphasizes unity and similarity, encouraging the politics of the tribe rather than of complexity. "Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-operation" explores why this has happened and what might be done about it. Sennett argues that living with people unlike ourselves requires more than goodwill: it requires skill. The foundations for skillful co-operation lie in learning to listen well and to discuss rather than debate. People who develop these capacities earn a reward: they can take pleasure in the company of others. "Together" traces the evolution of cooperative rituals in medieval churches and guilds, Renaissance workshops and courts, early modern laboratories and diplomatic embassies. In our lives today, it explains the trials and prospects of cooperation online, face-to-face in ethnic conflicts, among financial workers and community organizers. Exploring the nature of cooperation, why it has become weak, and how it could be strengthened, this visionary book offers a new way of seeing how humans can live together.
 

About Richard Sennett

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Richard Sennett was founder director of the New York Institute for the Humanities, and is now University Professor at New York University. He has previously won the Amalfi and Ebert prizes for sociology and in 2010 was awarded the Spinoza Prize for outstanding contributions to public debate on ethics and morality. Together forms part of a three-book project on 'homo faber, 'focusing on the skills human beings possess to make a life together;the first volume of this large project, The Craftsman, was published in 2008. He is the author of many celebrated books including The Fall of Public Man, Flesh and Stone and The Corrosion of Character.
 
Published February 1, 2012 by Allen Lane. 336 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Together
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Corinne Jones on Apr 06 2013

Sennett's breadth of knowledge is astounding. His juxtaposition of historical accounts...with small-scale stories of modernity...results in an engrossing study of humanity across cultures and time.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Feb 26 2013

And yet the book is a pleasure, all the way through – unless you're in the mood to pick a fight with a benign, herbivorous liberalism

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by David Runciman on Feb 03 2012

In many ways this is an old-fashioned book, which is part of its charm. Unlike almost everything that is currently being published on social activity, it has very little brain science in it.

Read Full Review of Together: The Rituals, Pleasu... | See more reviews from Guardian

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