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Head Hand Heart

The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century

David Goodhart



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Allen Lane
17 November 2020
A profound investigation into the deeper reason for our political alienation The coronavirus pandemic taught us something we ought already to have known- that care workers, supermarket shelf-stackers, delivery drivers and cleaners are doing essential work that keeps us all alive, fed and cared for. Until recently much of this work was regarded as menial by the the same society that now lauds them as 'key workers'. Why are they so undervalued?

In this timely and original analysis, David Goodhart divides human aptitudes into three- Head (cognitive), Hand (manual and craft) and Heart (caring, emotional). It's common sense that a good society needs to recognise the value of all three, but in recent decades they have got badly out of kilter. Cognitive ability has become the gold standard of human esteem. The cognitive class now shapes society largely in its own interests, by prioritizing the knowledge economy, ever-expanding higher education and shaping the very idea of a successful life. To put it bluntly- smart people have become too powerful.

Head, Hand, Heart tells the story of the cognitive takeover that has gathered pace over the past forty years. As recently as the 1970s most people left school without qualifications, but now 40 per cent of all jobs are graduate-only. A good society must re-imagine the meaning of skilled work, so that people who work with their hands and hearts are valued alongside workers who manipulate data. Our societies need to spread status more widely, and provide meaning and value for people who cannot, or do not want to, achieve in the classroom and the professions. This is the story of the central struggle for status and dignity in the twenty-first century.
By:   David Goodhart
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 34mm
Weight:   592g
ISBN:   9780241391570
ISBN 10:   0241391571
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   17 November 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

David Goodhart is the founding editor of Prospect magazine and one of the most distinctive voices on politics today. His The Road to Somewhere was a Sunday Times bestseller and lauded as the book 'likely to inform what a post-Brexit Britain might look like' (Economist). He is currently head of the Demography Unit at the think tank Policy Exchange, and was previously director of the centre-left think tank Demos.

Reviews for Head Hand Heart: The Struggle for Dignity and Status in the 21st Century

A provocative and probing account... a deeply felt and persuasive call for rethinking the social order * Publishers Weekly * In a book that offers an entertaining and educative amalgam of political and sociocultural insight, statistical data, and crisp opinion, the author digs deeply into the different capacities of human intelligence and how, in global societies, the perception of intellect has mutated into a hierarchical plateau with differing levels of status and influence... A thoughtful, commanding analysis that applauds essential workers and cognitive diversity * Kirkus Reviews * An uplifting book, celebrating wisdom and virtue. And a hopeful book at just the time when we need it -- Paul Collier David Goodhart is one of Britain's most influential thinkers...Head, Hand, Heart is classic Goodhart - compelling, challenging, evidence-led. It throws light on how our social fabric is coming apart and why some groups have good reason to feel left behind and left out. When people ask me how we can fix our divided societies I give them two words: read Goodhart -- Matthew Goodwin, Sunday Times bestselling author of National Populism Goodhart argues compellingly that an overvaluation of the role of cognitive elites in government and society has blinded us to the importance of the caring professions and vocations based on practical skills. Presenting an agenda that has become all the more urgent since the pandemic, Head, Hand and Heart is a powerful successor to Goodhart's hugely influential Road to Somewhere. For anyone concerned with the state of politics and society, this is a real must-read -- John Gray David Goodhart means to start a reformation. With great clarity and unfailing sympathy for the human condition, he charts a path toward a society in which a fuller range of aptitudes will receive the recognition they are due. * Matthew Crawford * David Goodhart is among the most insightful analysts of Anglo-American society, and of why the elites in our two countries so badly misunderstand the values, needs, and worth of most citizens. If you dream of a society that is more just and humane, offering more people more routes to dignity, prosperity, and happiness, then you will love Head, Hand, Heart -- Jonathan Haidt David Goodhart - the man who made the words anywheres and somewheres must-use terms of reference - turns his searching gaze and his genius for pithy formulation to another cause of division in the West: the fact that, as he puts it, smart people have become too powerful. -- Tom Holland It's a topsy-turvy world where the work of the heart and hand is undervalued. It's time for a radical rethink in what we value - and Goodhart's book is a part of this urgent endeavour -- Nicci Gerrard A book every MP should read... brilliant... The Road to Somewhere has become a classic and I think Head Hand Heart will become a classic too. -- Kenneth Baker * The Telegraph *

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