While working at the American embassy in Rome I decided that after five years I did not want to continue my career as a diplomat. After tendering my letter of resignation I sent my personal belongings to my parents in Massachusetts, got on my BMW R75/5 and headed east. A ferry took me and the bike across the Adriatic Sea to Greece, and then a road led over the top of the Aegean Sea to Istanbul, where Europe meets the East.
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