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Download Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, by Matthew B. Crawford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,831 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Matthew B. Crawford Narrator: Max Bloomquist Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 those 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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Shop Class as Soulcraft is a beautiful little book about human excellence and the way it is undervalued in contemporary America.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “It’s not an insult to say that Shop Class is the best self-help book that I’ve ever read. Almost all works in the genre skip the ‘self’ part and jump straight to the ‘help.’ Crawford rightly asks whether today’s cubicle dweller even has a respectable self.”


  • “With wit and humor, the author deftly mixes the details of his own experience as a tradesman and then proprietor of a motorcycle repair shop with more philosophical considerations.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A fascinating, important analysis of the value of hard work and manufacturing…Crawford makes real the experience of working with one’s hands to make and fix things and the importance of skilled labor. His philosophical background is evident as he muses on how to live a pragmatic, concrete life in today’s ever more abstract world and issues a clarion call for reviving trade and skill development classes in American preparatory schools. The result is inspired social criticism and deep personal exploration…Should be required reading for all educational leaders.”

    Library Journal

  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2009 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2009 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by pbb | 2/20/2014

    " if you like doing things...read this one. really good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Stephanie | 2/14/2014

    " Interesting premise, but I got lost in both the more philosophically grounded pieces of his argument and the more technical (gear head) aspects of the book. That he brought together two disparate vocabularies and bound them together in a relatively seamless whole is quite an accomplishment, but overall, just not for this reader. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Francine | 1/29/2014

    " I REALLY like what M Crawford has to say about the value of manual labor, and the amount of critical thinking it often really takes... and what it does to your being, which is something healthy... and the under-appreciation it endures. This man thinks so very deeply that I have to read this in pieces and let it sink in, then do some escapist reading and get back to it. But I think this is one of the most important philosophical books out there and should be on high school and college reading lists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ldrutman Drutman | 1/26/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It 1) gave me a totally new appreciation for what it means to work as a craftsman, and in the manual trades generally; 2) made me question whether we are training too many people for work in the so-called "knowledge economy" so that they can just become mindless information economy factory workers; and 3) made me re-think my philosophy towards my own work. It's a strong argument for struggling and going slow and taking pride in the details and thinking about the larger context and community of work. Highly recommended. "

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