Archives For Richard Sennett


An Excerpt from:

Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation
Richard Sennett

Hardback: Yale UP, 2012.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith in the current print issue of the ERB…
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Taking the week off…

August 18, 2008


There will be no issue of the ERB for Friday August 16. Our next issue will be out around Friday August 23.

If you’re interested, however, here are two recent interviews from NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show” that would be worth listening to:

1) Richard Sennett talks about The Craftsman (reviewed last week in the ERB):

2) Maggie Jackson talks about her book Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and The Coming Dark Age (review forthcoming in the ERB) :


“Working Well and Being Well

A Review of The Craftsman,
by Richard Sennett.

By Chris Smith.

The Craftsman.
Richard Sennett.
Hardcover. Yale uP. 2008.
Buy now from: [ Doulos Christou Books $22 ] [ Amazon ]

The CraftsmanThe monastic tradition of the Church, and particularly the Benedictine stream, has gifted the broader Church with a rich heritage that values working hard and working well. This heritage has also been reflected more recently in the writings of Wendell Berry and other writers associated with the new agrarianism. For those readers who are deeply rooted in this heritage, Richard Sennett’s new book, The Craftsman, is an eloquent gift. Sennett, an esteemed sociologist at NYU, sets out in this book to explore “the intimate connection between hand and head” (9). He notes, however, that in the Western world this connection has become strained. Sennett attributes this divide in large part to our use of technology that “we did not make for ourselves and that we do not understand” (7). In demonstration of this point, Sennett posits the example of CAD software. Despite its mathematical precision, CAD eliminates the intimacy that was had in previous generations between an architect and the space in which he was working. In this previous era, the architect would, through a cyclical process of drawing, walking around and experiencing the site, become intimate with the details of the space in a way that the standard use of CAD does not allow. Continue Reading…