Book Review: 'The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition' by Richard Florida
The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition
Basic Books (2012)
Those who have read any of Richard Florida’s previously published books know what to expect in each new one: Rock-solid, research-driven content; brilliant analysis; and passion to enlist his reader in efforts to help complete a “transition to a post-materialistic politics – a shift from values that accord priority to meeting immediate material needs to ones that stress belonging, self-expression, opportunity, environmental quality, diversity, community, and quality of life.”
In this volume, Richard Florida “revisits” his perspectives on “the key underlying forces that have been transforming our economy and culture” for several decades. The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited: 10th Anniversary Edition (June, 2012), is a major revision and updating of material presented in a volume first published in 2003. All of the original chapters were revised; five new ones were added; and two pair of original chapters (2 and 3 as well as 7 and 8) have been combined into one chapter (Chapter 2 and “No Collar”). Florida devotes two of the new chapters to “the persistent and deepening economic, social, and geographic divides that continue to vex our society.”
These are a few of the several dozen passages that caught my eye:
o The Ultimate Source of Creativity (Pages 23-25) o Defining the Creative Class (38-44) o What Creatives Want at Work (69-81) o Where the New Work Comes From (94-97) o The Unraveling of the Social Contract (97-99) o How SAS Manages Creativity (117-121) o Pitfalls of the Experiential World (153-156) o The Real Legacy of the 1980s (169-175) o Working Class Enclaves (218-222) o The Creative Class Around the World (268-274) o The University as a Creative Hub (309-312) o Building the Creative Community (339-349) o “The Geography of Inequality” (Chapter 16, Pages 353-365) o The Creative Class Comes of Age (398-400) o “The Creative Compact”: 45 Core Principles (384-398)
Revising and updating the Original Edition was a major project for Florida and his associates. All of the original chapters were revised; five new ones were added; and two pair of original chapters (2 and 3, 7 and 8) have been combined into one chapter (Chapter 2 and “No Collar”). Florida devotes two of the new chapters to “the persistent and deepening economic, social, and geographic divides that continue to vex our society.”
These and other major writing and editing initiatives correctly suggest how much importance Florida gives to helping to “unleash the great reservoir of overlooked and underutilized human potential,” resources without which the human race cannot finally achieve and then sustain “a better, more meaningful, and more fulfilling way of life.”
I agree with Richard Florida that “every single human being is creative” or at least can be creative if (HUGE “if”) economic opportunity and human development are not only in alignment but, in fact, interchangeable.
Editor's note: This review was written by Robert Morris and has been published with his permission.Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.