The Craftsman, By Richard Sennett

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The Independent Culture

To call Richard Sennett a "sociologist" does scant justice to the elegance, compassion and breadth of vision that mark his books about the troubles that unsettle Western lives. Work and its discontents prompts some of his best writing, and here he offers a timelier-than-ever tour of useful toil.

Not for him a William Morris-style retreat into cute artisan workshops. Instead, he explores satisfying "craft" and the conditions that make – or mar - it in locations from the NHS hospital to the software lab.

Against the cult of the special talent and "gifted child", he believes "nearly everyone can become a good craftsman" - and that being one can bring happiness.