Tag Archives: Shop Class as Soulcraft

A Book That Packs Surprises in Several Ways

The United States has long moved away from being a manufacturing-oriented society toward one that is knowledge-based and service-oriented.   Most of the manufacturing work that employees performed with their hands has now been replaced by machines and technology.

In the book that I will present on Friday, April 2 at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, author Matthew B. Crawford provides a unique perspective on the value of doing work the old-fashioned way:  with your hands.

The book, Shop Class as Soulcraft:  An Inquiry into the Value of Work, published by Penguin Press, is quite a surprise coming from this author’s background.  He holds a Ph.D. in political philosphy from the University of Chicago.  His greatest interest, however, is running his independent motorcycle shop, Shockoe Moto, in Richmond, Virginia.  You will have to admit that is quite an interesting combination.

Even more surprising is where you find this book.  Despite its title that includes “work,” you will not locate it in the business section of the bookstore.  I found it in the philosophy section.  That is consistent with the author’s background, but not with the subject matter.  Make no mistake about it – this is a business book.

You will find yourself questioning the worth of turning everyone into a “knowledge worker,” which he claims comes from a misguided separation of thinking from doing, and from working with the hands from the mind.

Perhaps from a throwback perspective, you will find this refreshing.

Look for the summary soon at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.

Coming for the April First Friday Book Synopsis: Gawande and Crawford

Coming for the April First Friday Book Synopsis:
Gawande’s Checklist and Crawford’s Soulcraft

This morning, we gathered for the First Friday Book Synopsis at the Park City Club.  (They do a great job at the Park City Club – a wonderful buffet breakfast, with made-to-order omelets, a stuffed French Toast dish that should be illegal!, superior service —  a great place for a meeting!) This marked the end of our 12th full year of gatherings.

Karl Krayer presented the book 59 Seconds: Think a Little, Change a Lot, and I presented my synopsis of the new Heath brothers book:  Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.  Both books provided wise insight, and practical “this is what to do” counsel.  We should have these synopses available for purchase soon on our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.

For April, I will be presenting my synopsis of the important and useful book by Atul Gawande, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right (I have blogged about Gawande, and this book, often).  Karl will present his synopsis of the best-selling and thought-provoking book Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford.

If you live in the Dallas area, mark your calendars now for the April 2 First Friday Book Synopsis, 7:00 am.  Come help us begin our 13th year of learning together.