A passionate attack on the tyranny of experts.
Modern life is being destroyed by experts and professionals. We have lost our amateur spirit and need to rediscover the radical and liberating pleasure of doing things we love.
In The Amateur, thinker Andy Merrifield shows us how the many spheres of our lives—work, knowledge, cities, politics—have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and rule followers. In response, he corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets, dabblers and square pegs who challenge the accepted wisdom. Such figures as Charles Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Edward Said, Guy Debord, Hannah Arendt and Jane Jacobs show us the way. As we will see the amateur takes risks, thinks the unthinkable and seeks independence—and changes the world.
The Amateur is a passionate manifesto for the liberated life, one that questions authority and reclaims the non–team player as a radical hero of our times.
Andy Merrifield is the author of nine books. His many articles, essays and reviews have appeared in the Nation, Harper’s, Adbusters, New Left Review, Dissent, the Brooklyn Rail, and Radical Philosophy. He has more than twenty–years’ experience teaching and writing about urbanism and social theory. He has also published three intellectual biographies on Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord and John Berger, as well as a popular existential travelogue, The Wisdom of Donkeys. Merrifield is a contributing editor of Adbusters, an associate editor of CITY, and a regular speaker at scholarly, literary and political events on and off campus.