The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction

Matthew B. Crawford. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-29298-0
Crawford (Shop Class as Soulcraft) is deeply interested in how one masters one’s own mind, especially in a time of information overload and constant distraction provided by technology. In a manner similar to Malcolm Gladwell, this brilliant work looks at individuals from varied walks of life, including hockey players and short-order cooks, to focus on the theme of how important (and difficult) it is to truly pay attention in our noisy, busy world. Crawford’s sources, ranging from the philosophy of Kant to testimony from gambling addicts, might seem too disparate to ever cohere, yet he synthesizes them with skill. The result will force readers to dig deeply into their own “metacognition” (thinking about thinking). Beyond individual experiences, the book traces Western thought from the Enlightenment to contemporary times, persuasively arguing that much of our thinking about individuality and cognition is, simply put, wrong. Crawford’s arguments can be dense at times, but they are not meant to be digested in pull quotes. Readers will feel rewarded for spending the time with a text this rich in excellent research, argument, and prose. Agent: Tina Bennett, WME. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 12/15/2014
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-318234-4
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-374-53591-9
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-670-06639-1
Compact Disc - 8 pages - 978-1-4272-6069-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4272-6070-3
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-374-70844-3
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