Matthew Crawford is a philosopher and mechanic. He has a PhD in political philosophy from the University of Chicago and served as a postdoctoral fellow on its Committee on Social Thought. Currently a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he also runs Shockoe Moto, a motorcycle repair shop.
Absolutely superb: elegant, surprising, hard-hitting and very
important -- Guy Claxton, author of 'Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind'
There are now many books reminding us to pay attention but Crawford also reminds us of how we lost attention in the first place - and putting the problem in its historical context makes the case more compelling -- Michael Foley, author of 'The Age of Absurdity'
Readers will feel rewarded for spending the time with a text this rich in excellent research, argument, and prose * Publishers Weekly (starred review) *
[An] astute, acerbic cultural critique . . . both timely and passionate * Kirkus *
Fresh and extremely enlightening. What is most satisfying is that technology is not blamed for the modern deluge of distractions - it is discussed as the cumulative effect of a number of influences found within Western culture. Illuminating * Library Journal (starred review) *
A cultural enquiry of rare substance and insight * Booklist (starred review) *
Peppered with startling insights * Chicago Tribune *
An enormously rich book, a timely and important reflection on an increasingly important subject. Pay attention. * New Criterion *
Both impassioned and profound * Washington Post *
Very entertaining . . . [with] many interesting insights * The Times *
Crawford makes the crucial point that this is a political problem. The creators of smartphones, social networks designed to hook us, the firms buying ads on escalator handrails and media organizations desperate for your clicks and shares are all helping themselves to something that's ours - the limited resource of our attention - to try to turn a profit -- Oliver Burkeman * Guardian *
Crawford has a point . . . adverts are everywhere, so much so you have to pay to escape. There are real benefits to silence. No great book, or idea comes without a degree of silence. Independent thinking is not possible without it. Perhaps this is why so many corporations and institutions demand our attention - and why we should protect it * Scotsman *
Incisive. It's philosophy as an intervention in issues of the day * Chronicle of Higher Education *
The most cogent and incisive book of social criticism I've read in a long time: accessible, demanding, and rewarding. Reading it is like putting on a pair of perfectly suited prescription glasses after a long period of squinting one's way through life * The Week *