Andy Merrifield is the author of nine books. His many articles, essays and reviews have appeared in the Nation, Harper's, Adbusters, New Left Review, Dissent, the Brooklyn Rail, and Radical Philosophy. He has more than twenty-years' experience teaching and writing about urbanism and social theory. He has also published three intellectual biographies on Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord and John Berger, as well as a popular existential travelogue, The Wisdom of Donkeys. Merrifield is a contributing editor of Adbusters, an associate editor of CITY, and a regular speaker at scholarly, literary and political events on and off campus.
"Erudite and engagingly written ... refreshing." - Financial Times "A satisfying celebration of the 'great romantic dream ... a society that breaks free of the vicious circle of undefined productivity.'"- Publishers Weekly "Rather than thinking of amateurs as dabblers, weekend gardeners, busying themselves with unimportant tasks, Merrifield defends the creative and political potential of doing things we love for pleasure. Amateurs take risks, seek independence, innovate by choosing a less obvious direction. By exploring the work of figures like Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, and Hannah Arendt, and their impact on his own professional life, Merrifield succeeds in highlighting the revolutionary spirit of the amateur." - The Idler "This elegant polemic is a persuasive manifesto for amateurism." - Daily Mail "Here amateurs (a word derived from the Latin "to love") are non-alienated citizens; enthusiasts, who counter the mechanical expertise and technical formalism of modern society; passionate obsessives standing up for values that need defending. Merrifield, an urban theorist who writes with a brio and wit often missing in professional academics, offers an idiosyncratic canon (Dostoevsky, Jane Jacobs, Edward Said) in which he holds up amateurs as outside-the-box thinkers, inter- and post-disciplinary radicals. It's a stirring book whose critique of contemporary work culture will be instantly recognisable. It also doubles as a moving memoir of a working-class intellectual." - Sukdev Sandhu, Observer "Provides a much needed take-down of the social legitimacy and sense of virtue with which the professional class has been endowed. It's a critique of professionalism - and an urgently needed one." - Hans Rollman, PopMatters "A celebration of brilliant quirks, hobbyists both talented and not, and passionate activists, a full-frontal assault on professionalism, and a call to cherish our amateur pursuits. . .Delightful to read, The Amateur is also a timely salvo.'' - Miya Tokumitsu, Frieze