The Case for Working with Your Hands: Or Why Office Work is Bad for Us and Fixing Things Feels Good

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Penguin Books Limited, May 6, 2010 - Philosophy - 256 pages

Why do some jobs offer fulfilment while others leave us frustrated? Why do we so often think of our working selves as separate from our 'true' selves?
Over the course of the twentieth century, we have separated mental work from manual labour, replacing the workshop with either the office cubicle or the factory line. In this inspiring and persuasive book, Matthew Crawford explores the dangers of this false distinction and presents instead the case for working with your hands. He brings to life the immense psychological and intellectual satisfactions of making and fixing things, explores the moral benefits of a technical education and, at a time when jobs are increasingly being outsourced over the internet, argues that the skilled manual trades may be one of the few sure paths to a good 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, Crawford delivers a radical, timely and extremely enjoyable re-evaluation of our attitudes to work.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - evenlake - LibraryThing

Many of the points he makes are good, but I’m not sure they weren’t already delivered better by someone else. There is also a tone of smug self-satisfaction that pervades the book, especially when talking about his own career path. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dmturner - LibraryThing

Bits of the book are quite good, especially when the author sticks to particulars of his own experience, to the history of management in America, and to summaries of the theses of certain philosophers ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Matthew Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. He has a Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Chicago and served as a postdoctoral fellow on its Committee on Social Thought. Currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he also runs Shockoe Moto, an independent motorcycle repair shop.

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