Shop Class as Soulcraft

Book review by Stephan Wilkinson

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shopclassassoulcraftMatthew 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

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  • http://www.timkreitz.com Tim Kreitz

    I skimmed through some of this book via a friend’s Kindle, finding it to be generally interesting and very well-written.

    As we traverse through the age of planned obsolescence and throw-away consumerism, Crawford’s appreciation for the craftsman carries a sort of somber seriousness that harkens back to what some would argue were better times. His perspective is a valuable one. I’m looking forward to finishing the read at some point.

  • http://www.bitzforbikes.co.uk/ ukbiker

    The latest machine of K-series bikes if F800.Name also implies it’s a strong bike. It’s make with some incredible engine that has 6 gears with horsepower up to 8500rpm.It’s speed is amazing to see. So if you have a bike like that its means your dreams come true.