Even Better Advice

If you're a new grad or unhappy in your job, or if you just like to read a satisfying extended argument about how we should live, I recommend Matthew Crawford 's brief and powerful Shop Class as Soulcraft: an Inquiry Into the Value of Work, about which you can read here.

Basically, Crawford argues for working with your hands at some craft. But an aspect of his book we shouldn't overlook is that, when he abandoned his pointless exertions at a Washington think tank in order to fix motorcycles, he went into business for himself. In fixing cycles, he does something tangible and he accommodates himself usefully to the demands of the world: customers, the laws of physics etc. But I think it matters a great deal that he's his own boss. And as I emphasized in an earlier post, there's a great deal to be said for that.

Presented by

Daniel Akst

Dan Akst is a journalist, essayist and novelist who wrote three books. His novel, The Webster Chronicle, is based on the lives of Cotton and Increase Mather. More

Dan Akst is a journalist, novelist and essayist whose work has appeared frequently in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Wilson Quarterly, and many other publications.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Business

Just In