The consolations of manual work

By Martin Vogel


Book review: The Case for Working with Your Hands, by Matthew Crawford

There’s an old joke about a banker whose plumber charged him £250 for a two-minute job to fix a leaking tap.  “I don’t earn that kind of money in the City!” the banker told the plumber.  “Yeah!” replied the plumber, “I didn’t either.  That’s why I switched to plumbing.”

The joke spoke to a pervading anxiety that the financial rewards of white collar work may be meagre compensation for the costs it exacts.  Now, along comes Matthew Crawford to rub salt in the wound with his thesis that the manual trades may also be more intrinsically rewarding.

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