Bob Michel is a motorcycle industry veteran of almost 30 years, and like many career motorcycle folks, he has stories to tell. His credentials include 14 years with Harley-Davidson, culminating with his role as manager of dealer facilities planning. Naturally, when it was time to move on to other adventures, he chose to capitalize on […]
Shop Class as Soulcraft
Book review by Stephan Wilkinson
Matthew Crawford is a practicing motorcycle mechanic out of Richmond,Virginia. He’s also an excellent writer who holds a philosophy degree from the prestigious University of Chicago. This unusual trifecta informs “Shop Class as Soulcraft: an Inquiry Into the Value of Work.” Anyone who’s changed their oil or timed a distributor (remember them?) will appreciate the result.
Disregard the slightly woo-woo title. This is no Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle, which was a prissy piece of pretentious, barely readable hokum. [One reviewer damned my book The Gold-Plated Porsche with faint praise by asserting that it was better than Zen and the Art . . ."] Crawford’s book is a querulous examination of how and why we’ve given up our appreciation for the skills of the craftsperson—-or even the simple integrity of the committed do-it-yourselfer. In the process, we’ve become a culture of “change ‘er out, not worth troubleshootin’ it” techs.
Read the full review at thetruthaboutcars.com