Living with people who differ—racially, ethnically, religiously, or economically—is the most urgent challenge facing civil society today. We tend socially to avoid engaging with people unlike ourselves, and modern politics encourages the politics of the tribe rather than of the city. In this thought-provoking book, Richard Sennett discusses why this has happened and what might be done about it.
Sennett contends that cooperation is a craft, and the foundations for skillful cooperation lie in learning to listen well and discuss rather than debate. In Together he explores how people can cooperate online, on street corners, in schools, at work, and in local politics. He traces the evolution of cooperative rituals from medieval times to today, and in situations as diverse as slave communities, socialist groups in Paris, and workers on Wall Street. Divided into three parts, the book addresses the nature of cooperation, why it has become weak, and how it could be strengthened. The author warns that we must learn the craft of cooperation if we are to make our complex society prosper, yet he reassures us that we can do this, for the capacity for cooperation is embedded in human nature.
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Praise for Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman
"In The Craftsman [Sennett] compellingly explores the universe of skilled work, where 'the desire to do a job well done for its own sake' still flourishes."—Brian C. Anderson, Wall Street Journal
"An inquiring, intelligent look at how the work of the hand informs the work of the mind."—New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
"A far-roving intellectual adventure."—Julian Bell, New York Review of Books
“Richard Sennett is a prime observer of society. . . . One of his great strengths, the thing that makes his narrative so gripping, is the sheer range of his thinking and his brilliance in relating the past to the present.”—Fiona MacCarthy, The Guardian
“[A] powerful meditation on the ‘skill of making things well.’ ”—New Yorker
Praise for Richard Sennett’s The Culture of the New Capitalism
"Hardly any social thinkers have given serious thought to the drastic changes in corporate culture wrought by downsizing, 're-orging,' and outsourcing. Fortunately, the exception—Richard Sennett—is also one of the most insightful public intellectuals we have. In The Culture of New Capitalism Sennett addresses the new corporate culture with his usual vast erudition, endlessly supple intellect, and firm moral outlook. The result is brilliant, disturbing, and absolutely necessary reading."—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream
“[Sennett] has brilliantly pushed his thinking. . . . [A] triumph.”—Will Hutton, The Observer
About the Author:
Richard Sennett founded and served as first director of the New York Institute of the Humanities and is now a professor of sociology at both New York University and the London School of Economics.
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