Modern life is being destroyed by experts and professionals. We have lost our amateur spirit and need to rediscover the radical and liberating pleasure of doing things we love. In The Amateur, thinker Andy Merrifield shows us how the many spheres of our lives-work, knowledge, cities, politics-have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and rule followers. In response, he corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets, dabblers and square pegs who challenge the accepted wisdom. Such figures as Charles Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt and Jane Jacobs show us the way. As we will see the amateur takes risks, thinks the unthinkable and seeks independence-and changes the world.
"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
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