How to Live on 24 Hours a Day is, in many ways, as quaint and dated as it sounds, but Arnold Bennett’s 1910 booklet is also gloriously short, less than 30 pages. In its brevity, tone, and candor it can be called a creepily prescient forerunner to today’s how-to ebooks. The slim volume is meant to enrich readers’ lives by encouraging them to cultivate a life of the mind through a regimen of study and thought implemented during evening hours they otherwise spend socializing, pipe smoking and various white pursuits of early 20th century Britain. This is a solid suggestion, no doubt, but Bennett offers it with a compelling, often overlooked argument based on the democratic nature of time. He writes: Continue reading
In “Shop Class as Soulcraft,” Matthew Crawford offers a interesting throwback solution to the lack of opportunity that confronts so many Americans–young and old–in this post recession era. The solution, according to Crawford, is to be found in the skilled trades. Here, I offer a deliberately critical review of Crawford’s book, but before I do so, I point out some of the insights that Crawford gives in this thoughtful, worthwhile read.