Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
By: Matthew B. Crawford
Every once in a while, a book is written that, while not explicitly focused on woodworking or furniture, manages to perfectly encapsulate the core essence of why we (as woodworkers) do what we do. The bestselling Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work is that kind of book. Its insights have been illuminating for us here at M&T.
Author Matthew Crawford presents a shining yet unsentimental anthem for work in the trades: physical, creative labor. He seeks to elevate public perception of the trades in a culture that has long devalued them in favor of white-collar "knowledge work" through a careful look at labor theory and historical practices of degrading factory workers. Drawing from his own experience as both a philosopher and a motorcycle mechanic, Crawford also explores other vocations focused on a skilled interface with material things. His anecdotes and illustrations make a compelling argument for the joy of working with your own two hands.
5” x 7-3/4”. Softcover. Published by Penguin Books. New York, NY. 2009. 246 pages.