Craft: An American History

Craft: An American History

A groundbreaking and endlessly surprising history of how artisans created America, from the nation's origins to the present day.

At the center of the United States' economic and social development, according to conventional wisdom, are industry, commodities, and technology-while craftspeople and handmade objects are relegated to a bygone past. Renowned craft historian Glenn Adamson turns that narrative on its head in this innovative account, revealing how makers have always been central to America's identity. Examine any phase of the nation's struggle to define itself, and artisans are there-from the silversmith Paul Revere and the revolutionary carpenters and blacksmiths who hurled tea into Boston Harbor, to today's “craftivists.” From Mother Jones to Rosie the Riveter. From Betsy Ross to the AIDS Quilt.

Adamson documents how craft has long been implicated in debates around inequality, education, and class, as well as America's failures to live up to its loftiest ideals. Yet artisanship has also been a site of resistance for oppressed people, such as enslaved African-Americans whose skilled labor might confer hard-won agency under bondage, or the Native American makers who built traditional arts into businesses that preserved cherished folkways. Theirs are among the array of memorable portraits of Americans both celebrated and unfamiliar in this richly peopled book. As Adamson argues, these artisans' stories speak to our collective striving toward a more perfect union: from the beginning, America had to be-and still remains to be-crafted.

Title:Craft: An American History
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781635574586
Format Type:

    Craft: An American History Reviews

  • Kristine

    Craft by Glenn Adamson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-November.American craftsmanship is presented as kind of depleting in quality and skill, describing the demise of folk art, comparing...

  • Jennifer Schultz

    Read if you: Want a deep dive into the history and importance of crafts and artisans in the United States. Librarians/booksellers: From pre-colonial to times to "craftivism," Etsy, and the maker movem...

  • Marks54

    This is a history of craft in America that extends from colonial times until the present, even including some COVID-19 issues. It covers a lot of material and many of the common distinctions drawn tha...

  • Christine

    This is sold as book about the history of crafting...it is, sort of. Really it is a book about history through the lens of crafts. The Crafts that enslaved Africans brought to America on slaving ships...

  • Peter Tillman

    NYT Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/19/bo...Excerpt:“Craft” aims to reckon with the shameful way we have treated and viewed those who handbuilt the country: Indigenous people, African-Amer...

  • Theodore Kinni

    Adamson tracks the role and influence of craft and craftspeople in the US from the Colonial Period to the present day. Read an advance copy; pub date Sept 2020. New title: Craft: An American History; ...

  • Donna

    Did not finish. Not what I thought it was going to be about. More history than craft info....

  • Pcox

    .5 Lots of good information....