Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Matthew B. Crawford  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born:

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Crawford has a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. He has a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Chicago. While there, he served as a postdoctoral fellow on its Committee on Social Thought. He is currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia and owns and operates Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop in Richmond, Virginia.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work
ISBN: 1594202230

Penguin Press HC, The. 2009

A philosopher / mechanic destroys the pretensions of the high- prestige workplace and makes an irresistible case for working with one's hands

Shop Class as Soulcraft brings alive an experience that was once quite common, but now seems to be receding from society-the experience of making and fixing things with our hands. Those of us who sit in an office often feel a lack of connection to the material world, a sense of loss, and find it difficult to say exactly what we do all day. For anyone who felt hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents, Shop Class as Soulcraft seeks to restore the honor of the manual trades as a life worth choosing.

On both economic and psychological grounds, Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing, the work of the hand from that of the mind. Crawford shows us how such a partition, which began a century ago with the assembly line, degrades work for those on both sides of the divide.

But Crawford offers good news as well: the manual trades are very different from the assembly line, and from dumbed-down white collar work as well. They require careful thinking and are punctuated by moments of genuine pleasure. Based on his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford makes a case for the intrinsic satisfactions and cognitive challenges of manual work. The work of builders and mechanics is secure

it cannot be outsourced, and it cannot be made obsolete. Such work ties us to the local communities in which we live, and instills the pride that comes from doing work that is genuinely useful. A wholly original debut, Shop Class as Soulcraft offers a passionate call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.

The Case for Working with Your Hands, Or, Why Office Work Is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good
ISBN: 0141047291

Penguin Viking. 2011

It's time to rethink our attitudes to work. For too long we have convinced ourselves that the only jobs worth doing involve sitting at a desk. Generations of school-leavers head for university lacking the skills to fix or even understand the most basic technology. And yet many of us are not suited to office life, while skilled manual work provides one of the few and most rewarding paths to a secure living. Drawing on the work of our greatest thinkers, from Aristotle to Heidegger, from Karl Marx to Iris Murdoch, as well as on his own experiences as an electrician and motorcycle mechanic, Matthew Crawford's irreverent and inspiring manifesto will change the way you think about work forever.


Awards

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