A groundbreaking new book from the bestselling author of Shop Class as Soulcraft
In his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence, as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant follow-up, The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one's own mind. We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self. Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature. The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.
About the Author
Matthew B. Crawford is a senior fellow at the University of Virginia's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture and a fabricator of components for custom motorcycles. His bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, which has been translated into nine languages, has prompted a wide rethinking of education and labor policies in the United States and Europe, leading TheSunday Times to call him "one of the most influential thinkers of our time."
Winner of the prestigious Audie Award (for History and Audio Drama), veteran actor Robert Fass is equally at home in a wide variety of styles, genres, characters, and dialects. A seven-time Audie nominee with over 100 unabridged audiobooks to his credit, Robert has also earned multiple Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Joe Golem and the Drowning City by Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden. Robert has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, John Steinbeck, Carlos Fuentes, Isaac Asimov, Ellery Queen, Steve Berry, Jeffrey Deaver, and Nele Neuhaus, plus bestselling nonfiction works in history, politics, health, journalism, philosophy, and business.
“Both impassioned and profound.” —Christopher Shea, The Washington Post on Shop Class as Soulcraft
“Recent press coverage has sent word-of-mouth buzz on Shop Class through the roof, but it really is a book whose time, in our culture, has come.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times on Shop Class as Soulcraft