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The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,731 ratings  ·  160 reviews
The Washington Monthly 2002 Annual Political Book Award WinnerThe Rise of the Creative Class gives us a provocative new way to think about why we live as we do today-and where we might be headed. Weaving storytelling with masses of new and updated research, Richard Florida traces the fundamental theme that runs through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American soci ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 25th 2003 by Basic Books
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Andrew
Oh, Richard Florida. So close and yet so far. I think his heart is in the right place, but, as a member of Florida's vaunted "creative class," I must kindly tell him his theory is fucked. And here's why:

--It's written from an unbelievably myopic, elite perspective. Much like Thomas Friedman, Florida seems utterly incapable of seeing the world beyond the veil of privilege that protects him and his fellow business gurus from the real world.

--Everything is bolstered by spurious quantitative methods
...more
Juli
This book changed my expectations from and about community and society. If there are enough freaks, there won't be a need to conform - and oh MY! There are certainly enough freaks to go around.
Seriously, I think the creative class is coming hot on the heels of the industrialized society - I only hope I live long enough to see it really affect the deep south.
Elke Kleutghen
i do not know what to think of it. It started promising and i found myself nodding, yes, yes yes.. hmm yes. and than he repeats himself in about 100 ways to say the same statement over and over.



the glorification of the creative class is dripping off every sentence. He does his best not to look down on the working class or the service class, but firmly believes that the creative class are the new superiors. Urging cities to only provide for this class in order to attract them as that will revital
...more
Alex
good god. richard florida presents the case that a new "creative class" is emerging in the u.s., which is going to usher in a new era of prosperity and creativity.

total lack of understanding of the human effects of globalization, almost entirely from an elite privileged perspective, almost completely worthless.
Michael
Having been present in a "creative" field for the last 4 years, this book offered nothing new in terms of insight, but was nonetheless an excellent collection of ideas put forward in an enthusiastic and progressive form. There are flaws, as there often are with books written primarily for a business audience but from a (more or less) sociological perspective. A comment from another reader review is both correct and completely irrelevant:

"total lack of understanding of the human effects of global
...more
s
i liked what one reviewer said--"if only they didn't simply corroborate the well-established idea that the "creative class" is simply a gentrification tool, rather than a sound investment and long-term backbone of a civic identity."

the book is fantastic--although the data is soft if using it purely for academic purposes. however, it only goes to show that the "creative class" is a "class" and as such will work in powerful and cutthroat ways.

on a side note--i read this book several years ago and
...more
Liz
yeah, it was pretty bad. it was not as bad as it could've been -- it makes some critiques of precarity which I honestly wasn't expecting -- but ultimately it's a fairly nauseating celebration of the blending of bohemian aesthetics and bourgeois lifestyles. also LOL at the idea that a job in "high-end sales" is a "core creative industry". the creative class *is* the old professional class. there's no change there except in people's ideas of cool, which now arguably have a greater focus on the app ...more
Diane
Dec 29, 2007 Diane rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: trends, business, educators
As an educator, this book was the third I have read of a similar vein - starting with the World is Flat, then Pink's A Whole New Mind, and now - The Rise of the Creative Class.

I read the newer version with the updated stats - that raised Denver's place in the Creative strata. The Creative Economy is a definite topic of discussion in our state, how to grab it, use it, and feed it. I think about that as a K-12 educator - how do we keep in step with the trends so that we can fulfill the expectation
...more
Jimt43
This book is an example (and there are many) of someone who had an idea good enough for an HBR article (as Florida did write as I recall) but no where near enough info and interesting ideas to produce a 400+ page epistle. I stopped long ago at page 225 and have just decided to give up on ever finishing it. Hint, read his HBR article and you will have everything you need to know.
Stephanie W
The basic thesis of the book is that diverse, tolerant, creative urban centers attract people of the same disposition. It is those people who are the driving force of the economy and their desired lifestyle dictates their choice of city and ultimately their choice of occupation. Their lives are no longer dictated by their jobs like in the days of the Organization Man in the Grey Flannel Suit.

At the beginning of the book, I found myself agreeing with Florida's every word. Yet as the book progres
...more
Andrea
For those of us caught unawares, let it be known that the Working Class is dead. As a socio-political force, anyway. As is the Bourgeoisie. The Creative Class is what has risen to take its place and Richard Florida's 'Rise of the Creative Class' documents how it did so, how its impacted cities and towns across the nation, and how your city should adjust if it hopes to have a chance of catching on. The Creative Class is represented by cities like New York and Chicago, of course, but also Seattle ...more
Jacobmartin
Ever since the fateful day I enrolled in that Society And Culture course in high school where I was tainted with a love of sociology forever while other students were saddled with boring business studies classes, I knew I wanted to read more actual sociological works instead of relying on my understanding of social scientists as depicted by the movie Cannibal Holocaust, which is a far more informative movie about social sciences than its title suggests.

I adored this book and was pleased it menti
...more
Ahmed Abdelhamid
I might not have enjoyed some of the analysis of “shifts” in the book, but, indeed it changed my personal view and made me conscious of many economic changes, life style shifts, cities growth or decay, clustering the contemporary community and talent management issues. Given all these numeric facts in the book, about the technology, talent and tolerance in various cities it was very pleasant and a true added value (to me).

2008
كتب تعليقا مطولا بالعربية هنا:
http://www.ahmedabdelhamid.com/arblog...
...more
Janet
Didn't actually read the whole thing, but was impressed and intrigued by a chapter on my hometown Pittsburgh and its inability to rise above its industrial culture and attitudes. I see that, always have, and could never put my finger on why Pittsburgh just never felt like the kind of place I wanted to live as a free adult. Of course I still love and long for it...
Margaret Sankey
This is the 2012, post 2008 crash update, in which Florida doubles down (although interestingly, recently recanted in the Atlantic) on his insistence that cities can revitalize themselves through talent, technology and tolerance. Really, who would want to be against this idea? Forget throwing money at sports stadiums! Lure hipsters with arts festivals and bike lanes! I was interested in this in light of Fargo's developing prosperity and status as a relatively-tolerant corner of a dark red state, ...more
Alina Peussa
I agree with most of his ideas.
M Christopher
A follow up to Florida's groundbreaking "The Rise of the Creative Class," this "revised and expanded" new edition is practically a new book. Every chapter receives a thorough-going revision based on new data, critical responses to the first edition, etc., plus there are several new chapters. If you've previously read "The Rise of the Creative Class," you will want to read this new version to get up to speed with the changes in both theory and practice. If you've not read the first book, then thi ...more
Kate
This a book about economy that does not lament over today's changing values, and does not agonize over a hypothetical future. Instead, Richard Florida seeks to analyze the pieces that make up our present-day system in a fact-based, yet compassionate way. That is reason number one why his work appeals to me.

The second reason is that I strongly identify myself with his construct of the "creative worker", and in this way he includes me as an essential part of the larger system. Although this is the
...more
Derek Simon
I found the ideas in this book intriguing and compelling, but I didn't find them totally convincing, for a few reasons.

First, Florida relies allot on anecdotal evidence instead of empirical evidence. While it sometimes makes for good storytelling, the fact that lots of people he talks to agree with him doesn't really provide strong proof for his ideas, it just proves that (like most of us), Richard Florida talks to allot of like minded people.

Second, he ignores the old maxim that correlation is
...more
Helynne
If a visitor from 1900 were plopped into the year 1950 and a visitor from 1950 had the chance to move forward into 2000, who would be the most shocked at the new society he/she would experience? It’s tempting to say the person from 1900 would be the most bowled over because of 1950 technology—cars, airplanes, films, TV, etc., However, author Richard Florida maintains that the 1950 visitor to 2000 would be even more surprised at the “deeper, more persuasive transformations” of the turn-of-the-21 ...more
Liam
"Creativity involves the ability to synthesize. Einstein captured it nicely when he called his own work 'combinatory play.' It is a matter of sifting through data, perceptions and materials to come up with combinations that are new and useful. A creative synthesis is useful in such varied ways as producing a practical device, or a theory or insight that can be applied to solve a problem, or a work of art that can be appreciated. Creativity requires self-assurance and the ability to take risks." ...more
Tracy
Carnegie Mellon University professor, Richard Florida provides an astute and extensively researched explanation of the massive cultural shifts in U.S. society over the last 30 years that have caused an entirely new social class to develop: the Creative Class. Numbering close to 40 million people, the creative class consists of workers whose intellectual energy is primarily applied to innovation, problem solving, and development of new products or services. A creative class member is distinguishe ...more
Mike Steinborn
Despite being a little heavy on the statistics, this books gives an interesting insight into and analysis of a new class of people that Florida has identified as the Creative Class (to stand beside the older existing Manufacturing Class and the Service Class). Empowered by the possibilities and tools of the Information Age, Creative Class people are characterized by creativity and innovation in their work. On average, such people, no matter what work they are involved in (though some fields are ...more
Kirsten
Feb 26, 2011 Kirsten rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People engaged in creative jobs, people intrested in changing economics
I thought this book was really interesting. It laid out a coherent argument for all of the things that I had vaguely been hearing complaints about from the older generations about the workplace and how things are changing.
As a potential member of the creative workforce, it was interesting for me to see the changing trends, and I am appreciative of the fact that they're changing to be more like how things are at universities, because I work well in those settings, better than I do in the traditi
...more
Eoghan
The basic thesis that a certain kind of diversity is a strong indicator for economic growth and success of a modern city is interesting, and the reasons he adduces for that seem reasonably accurate. I don't think his claims that his creatives constitute a new class that supersedes Marxist notions of class holds up - when someone is claiming in the space of a few pages that creatives can't be exploited because their creativity is the means of production and then describing how the same workers ar ...more
Jeffrey
Pretty fascinating. I tried reading this book about a year ago, but it never stuck. This time I was pretty into it. I'd say that working at a small internet startup company helps a lot. There are certain things in the book that are right on point. Richard Florida described a lot of the things I've been experiencing at work to the fuckin letter. It doesn't change any of the miscommunication I experience at work, but at least the book defines it. It's nice to know that these trends are nationwide, ...more
ari
Mar 21, 2007 ari rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: purveyors of society
Shelves: non-fiction
What I love about this book is that it got me thinking a great deal about alternatives to the standard process of having a 9-5 job. Of course, big picture, the book is about much more than that, namely the importance of these individuals in the continuing economic well-being of the U.S. However, my disputes with his thesis, that "creatives" are behind this economic growth, stem mostly from the conclusions that he draws from his data, and the breadth of personal anecdotes that he uses to prove hi ...more
lilly
Aug 07, 2012 lilly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked freakonomics, but wanted more with sounder anthropology.
This book does a lot of economic analysis, looking at the relationship between demographics and economic development. The author finds some fascinating correlations and then does interviews and field work to figure out the whys behind the numbers, providing a fascinating account of what makes creative people tick. Written as an regional development book, it is fascinating for any relatively nerdy and/or sociology-loving human.

8 years after I first read this, learning what I learned moving from b
...more
Joshua
What could have been an effective article for a journal is stretched into a 400+ page book. The thesis is nothing new, and nothing that anyone in the creative field hasn't known and professed all along. As a book obviously targeted to people who aren't necessarily in the creative field, it may do some good in putting some numbers behind the claims that cultural richness is actually good for the economic well being of cities. If only his conclusions were stronger; if only they didn't simply corro ...more
Jay
Richard Florida vividly ties together the changing forces of our world into his pervasive theory describing the emerging values and needs of the Creative Class. He outlines what works and doesn't work for not simply economic development, but for the livability of cities and communities and how individual businesses fit into this new paradigm shift of how people live work and play.

Written in 2002, I'm very excited to see that all of these principles have been playing out and for better and for wo
...more
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Richard Florida (born 1957 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American urban studies theorist.
Richard Florida's focus is on social and economic theory. He is currently a professor and head of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, at the University of Toronto. He also heads a private consulting firm, the Creative Class Group.
Prof. Florida received a PhD from Columbia Univers
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More about Richard Florida...
Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent Cities and the Creative Class The Breakthrough Illusion: Corporate America's Failure To Move From Innovation To Mass Production

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“The creative individual is no longer viewed as an iconoclast. He—or she—is the new mainstream.” 1 likes
“As the economy has become more specialized and the occupational division of labor has deepened, the Creative Class has increasingly outsourced functions that were previously provided within the family to the Service Class.” 0 likes
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