Monday, 13 February 2012

Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-operation

Montaigne

Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-operation

 A New Book by Richard Sennett. Publish by Allen Lane. 2012. 336 pages. £25

I heard Sennett on the BBC radio recently 'in dialogue' about this book. He practices what he preaches (and suggests) in an admirable fashion. This book is a great service to 21st-century society. He has begun the task of a restoration of a sense of nobility and value in the often-discredited notions of 'humanism', 'community' and 'collective.' Sennett's book is a nuanced antidote to narrow, selfish, acquisitive individualism. His book will appeal to academic non-specialist readers alike.

I've long admired Montaigne's mature blog-like essays and find in them a mercurial pre-modernity that our post-modernity could learn much from. Sennett sent me back to read them again with fresh insight and renewed optimism.

The perceptive and distinguished Mr Sennett has harnessed a variety and range of otherwise fragmented topics into an appealing new ethics and practice of co-operation. This book marks a valued addition to an ongoing project to rethink life, arts/crafts and creativity.

For British readers I would also add a recommendation for Henry Hemming's Together: How Small Groups Achieve Big Things.