Why do people work hard, and take pride in what they do? This book, a philosophically-minded enquiry into practical activity of many different kinds past and present, is about what happens when people try to do a good job. It asks us to think about the true meaning of skill in the 'skills society' and argues that pure competition is a poor way to achieve quality work. Sennett suggests, instead, that there is a craftsman in every human being, which can sometimes be enormously motivating and inspiring - and can also in other circumstances make individuals obsessive and frustrated. The Craftsman shows how history has drawn fault-lines between craftsman and artist, maker and user, technique and expression, practice and theory, and that individuals' pride in their work, as well as modern society in general, suffers from these historical divisions. But the past lives of crafts and craftsmen show us ways of working (using tools, acquiring skills, thinking about materials) which provide rewarding alternative ways for people to utilise their talents. We need to recognise this if motivations are to be understood and lives made as fulfilling as possible.
Simon Varey's edition of William Arnall's Case of Opposition Stated (1732) stands to enrich the ongoing discussion of politics and propaganda in the British paper wars of the 1720s and 1730s. The pamphlet, funded by Sir Robert Walpole's administration, attempted to undermine the credibility of the opposition spearheaded by Viscount Bolingbroke and William Pulteney. Arnall's point-by-point rebuttal of a recent number of Bolingbroke and Pulteney's newspaper, the Craftsman, had a particular urgency about it: the Craftsman's printer had recently been convicted for seditious libel, and the Craftsman was reveling in the publicity, selling more copies as it intensified its attacks on Walpole and George II. Arnall's blistering polemic constituted the administration's most forceful attempt to turn the debate against the opposition. The edition includes a scholarly introduction and notes as well as transcriptions of several numbers of the Craftsman and sections of Dr. Varey's previously unpublished manuscript on the Craftsman. The late Dr. Varey published widely on eighteenth-century subjects.
"Obviously of great merit." — Art Material Trade News. Fifteenth-century handbook, written by a working artist of the day, reveals secrets and techniques of the masters in drawing, oil painting, frescoes, panel painting, gilding, casting, more. Direct link to artists of the Middle Ages. Translation and Introduction by D. V. Thompson. "Delightful flavor..." — N.Y. Herald Tribune.