I highly recommend Richard Florida’s The Rise of the Creative Class for two key reasons.
First, it is a work of sociology that just makes sense, or at least will to most of the readers of this blog. Florida creates a compelling theory to explain a new class of people in the world, creatives. Creatives are an interesting melding of the corporate “organization man” and bohemians. We are required by the information economy to work more like inventors then out beauraucratic manager or assembly line labor predecessors. The theory is interesting for people who work in this economy if for no other reason than it helps you understand your life a little better. Florida, like almost every academic, takes his theory a little too seriously. He argues that it explains just about every social phenomenon of the last 20 years. It doesn’t, but it certainly has some value.
Second, Dr. Florida was living in Pittsburgh at the time it was written and much of his demonstrative analysis is of Pittsburgh specifically. It sheds an interesting perspective on issues of urban development and economic growth in the city of Pittsburgh specifically (the stadium and convention center construction for example).
While these are the main value of the book, you can really only get much out of it from reading the entire book. To present a summary here would be a disservice. However, I have found a few good storylines worthy of blogs. For the most part, I’m going to take a few of Dr. Florida’s more minor points and put them in a slightly different context. So over the next three days, I will cover the following three posts: