Matthew B. Crawford -->

How are we disposed towards what we do every day? Vocation, more in the sense of a calling than a mere trade, is the central concern of Matthew Crawford’s book Shop Class as Soulcraft, which originated as an essay in the New Atlantis. Part treatise, part polemic, and part testimony, it is a serious reflection on the way labor shapes our sense of self. Following in the tradition, if not exactly the spirit, of Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Shop Class challenges received wisdom about the necessity of a college degree for future success.

Crawford is skeptical of the rise of an “information economy” in which highly educated workers will deal dazzlingly in abstractions. He worries that...


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