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Cover for The Craftsman

The Craftsman

Richard Sennett


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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (3/26/2018)
Paperback (3/31/2009)
Paperback (2/1/2009)


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.

Praise For The Craftsman

"As Richard Sennett makes clear in this lucid and compelling book, craftsmanship once connected people to their work by conferring pride and meaning. The loss of craftsmanship—and of a society that values it—has impoverished us in ways we have long forgotten but Sennett helps us understand."—Robert B. Reich, Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley, and author of Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life

-Robert B. Reich

“Eloquent and persuasive.”—Scott Nesbit, Culture

-Scott Nesbit

"In The Craftsman [Sennett] compellingly explores the universe of skilled work, where ''the desire to do a job well done for its own sake'' still flourishes."—Brian C. Anderson, Wall Street Journal
-Brian C. Anderson

"An inquiring, intelligent look at how the work of the hand informs the work of the mind."—New York Times Book Review (Editors'' Choice)

"I am confident that as Sennett continues his quest to make sense of life and work, those of us who study the digital age will find it worthwhile to pay more attention to his body of work."—Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Chronicle Review
-Siva Vaidhyanathan

"This book challenges our thinking and understanding concerning how we create work and workplaces, and how we make social and political choices about what we produce and consume. Sennett reaches out to the craftsman in all of us."—James H. Dulebohn, People & Strategy
-James H. Dulebohn

"Richard Sennett is one of the most eminent and prolific sociologists in the Western world. . . . [His readers] are led gradually and effortlessly into a special world, only to find themselves enthralled by an author who stimulates and fascinates at every turn."—Daisaburo Hashizume, The American Interest
-Daisaburo Hashizume

"A far-roving intellectual adventure."—Julian Bell, New York Review of Books
-Julian Bell

Richard Sennett is the winner of the 2010 Spinoza Prize, sponsored by the International Spinoza Award Foundation
-Spinoza Prize

Yale University Press, 9780300119091, 336pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2008

About the Author

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.