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The Rise Of The Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community And Everyday Life Hardcover – May 1 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (May 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465024769
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465024766
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 16.3 x 3.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #485,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

Florida, an academic whose field is regional economic development, explains the rise of a new social class that he labels the creative class. Members include scientists, engineers, architects, educators, writers, artists, and entertainers. He defines this class as those whose economic function is to create new ideas, new technology, and new creative content. In general this group shares common characteristics, such as creativity, individuality, diversity, and merit. The author estimates that this group has 38 million members, constitutes more than 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, and profoundly influences work and lifestyle issues. The purpose of this book is to examine how and why we value creativity more highly than ever and cultivate it more intensely. He concludes that it is time for the creative class to grow up--boomers and Xers, liberals and conservatives, urbanites and suburbanites--and evolve from an amorphous group of self-directed while high-achieving individuals into a responsible, more cohesive group interested in the common good. Mary Whaley
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Review

"An exhaustive study that ought to be read by every city planner and economic developer who wants to thrive in the next century.... It tells us a lot about ourselves, where we've been and where we are going." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Florida's idea of a creative person is the software engineer who develops alternate downloadable ring tones for your telephone, or the Saturn engineers and marketers who come up with fake wood aftermarket car dashboard appliques. This is a degraded definition of creativity, one sure to include just about everyone in society up to and including the roofer installing an asphalt shingle on your roof, provided she makes the critical choice of applying the shingle one quarter inch to the right rather than one quarter inch to the left.
In its own sweet way, Florida's "creatives," or at least his watered-down definition of same, is as prejudiced as classic racists, homophobes, and sexists. Only instead of attempting to shunt blacks to the back of the bus, Florida's burgeoning "creative" managers are sending the working class factory jobs to China and the service class jobs to India. Having to live near these people, it would seem, is too painful for someone who markets Viagra for a living.
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Format: Hardcover
This book states (and restates and restates) that there is this creative class that is making money and transforming cities into vibrant economies if they are given the freedoms they need to stay creative. Sadly while he in name only includes artists, writers and musicians he seems only concerned with creative technology folks. Sure they are making money but artists continue to do what they do and have always had liveable communities. Economically viable? Well they don't have a starbucks on every corner and they can't afford hip nightlife and funky grocery stores but people have been making art weather or not cities chose to cater to them. The overpaid techies who have the privlege of comanding huge salaries and little personal responsiblity for their wealth need more put on a silver platter for them. Artists and creative types have rarely looked to others for their sustainablity. This is a book that is so shallow in its approach to creativity an a truly authentic and sustainable city economy that it left me annoyed. And the passing references to this Creative Class being very diverse but not black made me sit up. Some of the most gifted (and popular) artists, musicians, writers and directors are black, surely they make up some of this group. But not in Austin, not in Texas where being black is dangerous. Mr. Florida has created a neat package, trendy catch phrase and tidy profit, but he has not tapped or understood true creativity.
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Format: Paperback
This book was conceived during the 1990s when the high-tech bubble economy caused a labor shortage which made it possible for recent college grads with the right "hot" skills to "write their own tickets". Professor Florida wondered why Pittsburgh, his home town, was having trouble attracting high-tech talent, and graduates from local schools were choosing to move away. He found that these young, single, upper-income, well-educated people were making job choices based on geography. They wanted to live somewhere "fun" for young people. That is with amenities such as a vibrant night life, opportunities for outdoor recreation such as biking, rock climbing, etc. Thus they chose places like Austin TX with its music scene over Pittsburgh with its symphony.
This is interesting enough, and Florida makes the connection to earlier work (especially that of Jane Jacobs) on what makes a city an "authentic" and interesting place to live.
It is well known that as time goes on, so-called "knowledge workers" are becoming a larger and larger part of the economy. However Florida, perhaps driven to some "irrational exuberance" by the bubble economy we were living in when he was writing this, makes some pretty outlandish claims for the importance and power of this class of workers (which he calls "the creative class"). As of mid-2004, this all seems a quaint relic of 1990s "new economy" optimism.
He also fails to address two things which have had a huge impact on the labor market in recent years:
He mentions but does not address at any length the collapse of the high-tech bubble, and what impact this change will have on the phenomena he describes.
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Format: Paperback
A very uncreative book dealing with what is supposed to be an interesting and exciting topic. Does Richard Florida discuss the new creative class of individuals that have been tinkering in their garages for decades now, changing all facets of society; from entertainment and art, to technology and health? No. Florida casts his definition net so wide that he's caught all the fish in the sea.

In the book, he basically defines someone in the creative class as someone who thinks creatively. He even goes so far as to say that the house cleaners he employs can be considered somewhat part of the creative class, as they are at liberty to do their work when and how they please. It is almost irrefutable that each and every human has the capacity to be creative - I would like to hear about a previously unrecognized class of people that ooze creativity and are changing their own lives and their society because of it. But no. Instead; lawyers, doctors and engineers of all stripes are part of Florida's Creative Class. I have had a hard time getting through this book because it's so dry, but even up to Chapter 8, he has hardly, if at all, discussed artisans, artists, entrepreneurs, tinkerers, makers, etc.

Even aside from Florida writing a book about something that simply discusses anyone who is middle class and up, the book reads like a university textbook. This is not a book you want to read on the bus to work, lest you miss your stop and ride the bus all the way back to where you got on. Instead of a book bursting with interesting and exciting anecdotes, making you feel anxious about missing out on the creative revolution... we get a book with charts, statistics and discussion of cracker-dry everyday phenomenon.
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