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

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,575 ratings  ·  185 reviews
Sociology, Economics
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 25th 2003 by Basic Books (first published May 1st 2002)
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Start your review of The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life
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
Jun 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: haveread
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.
Apr 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
Apr 12, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-studies
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
Jun 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: avoid, capitalism
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.
Jun 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
I finally gave up about 120 pgs in. I then flipped through the rest, read a bit here and there.

There's a few stories about people. A few quotes from other authors. There's the same "stuff" repeated over and over again. A few charts but no real format, thesis or point to be made.

Not what I was anticipating or interested in reading.
Nathan Albright
Jun 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: challenge-2019
This book was an unmitigated failure on a variety of levels.  For one, in reading this book the author's agenda, especially his pro-gay and anti-family agenda, and even anti-working class agenda, was particularly evident, and something he hammered over and over again.  In reading this book I felt like the uncool but decent city leaders who would tell the reader to stop talking so much about gays and bohemians, because that is exactly how I felt reading this garbage.  On top of that, which would ...more
Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Miguel Gonzalez
Out of date thinking about Millennials that may be revived with a solid update (2018).
Stephanie H
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
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
pretty horrifying. at its best it presents interesting statistics about the work and lifestyle habits of a radically changing work force. but rarely does it ever analyze the consequences or meaning of these figures. it describes the factors of gentrification without really recognizing the fruits of the “creative class” as anything but a productive foece

EDIT: I was immediately inspired to quit my creative class job after reading this book. this book has “changed my life.” I’m working a better job
Ahmed Abdelhamid
Sep 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
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).

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Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An interesting argument pursued around the idea of creativity being just as important as technology and tolerance as a key driver of regional growth. Fatalistic about globalisation leading to manufacturing production jobs going offshore and emphasis is on creating a creative class to attract advanced manufacturing. Potentially overlooks therefore the paradox of periphery regions in former Eastern bloc regions with authoritarian traditions.
Jul 07, 2008 rated it liked it
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... ...more
Alina Peussa
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I agree with most of his ideas.
Jun 18, 2020 added it
Shelves: 2010-11
I want to start my February book club review by saying: read this book! I think the pseudo-nerdy-hipsters of the Twin Cities aka CTEPers would really appreciate this book. Phew, I feel the weight of the burden of recommending a truly great read lifted off my shoulders now…

In The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, Richard Florida argues that socioeconomic prosperity is directly related to a city’s “creative class” or density/presence
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found a great deal in this volume to be fascinated by - especially how the author details the rising separation between the economically dominant Creative Class and the Working and Service Classes. It explains more clearly to me what factors in the United States have given the election of Donald Trump. He also outlines the elements that explain the backlash and anger of those who feel forgotten. While Prof. Florida in many cases remains optimistic, I came away from this read feeling a sense of ...more
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
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
Rich Maloy
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I picked up this book because Brad Feld referenced it once or twice in Startup Communities. Five and a half years later, I'm trying to write a review for it. I vaguely recall nodding my head quite a bit in agreement research and feeling hope from the conclusions. However, I didn't go back and re-read it. As much as I want to read a book that's backed by research, sometimes the research is too much of the narrative and I want suggested action. In 2013 I was just getting started as an ecosystem le ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I was able to get most of the gist of this book from an hour long Presentation from Richard Florida on YouTube. There is also a 2012 revised edition if you are looking for current statistics. Dr. Florida is a professor, so this book is very academic focused but still very interesting to read. I read it hoping to learn more about job trends and what the current and especially the future of work will likely look like. In that respect it was only partially effective. Florida provides a list of citi ...more
Tim Maurer
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
How, you may ask, can I rate a book that I was unable to finish as four stars? Well, the message was clear--it just wasn't concise (but that's not necessarily the book's fault). What I didn't realize before I started into this book is that it's really more like a textbook, laden with loads (and loads and loads) of research.

A few chapters in, I was convinced that there is, indeed, a "creative class," that it's far more expansive than people think (entrepreneurs and business leaders, for example,
Barbara Anne Thomas
This book offered valuable information to me as an emerging artist. The explanation on how the US economy has shifted since the financial crisis of 2008 helped me to understand and navigate the job market. Richard Florida clearly did extensive research, and refutes counter-arguments made against him in a strong and intelligent way. One critique was that the book was very lengthy and over-written so I ended up skimming over some chapters.
Lisa Roney
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: culture-history
I wish this book were true. Alas, especially in the years since it was published, it has become clear that the book was comprised mostly of wishful thinking. I think that the biggest mistake that Richard Florida makes is that he claims this is the way something IS when it would be more honestly posed as an argument for why things SHOULD be this way or COULD be this way if only our society valued the arts and creativity. Unfortunately, most of our society doesn't. ...more
Karen Briscoe
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is sure to be a classic! As someone whose career and life was focused on left brain activity, flexing the right brain muscles do not come naturally to me. Now in the second half of life, I am finding value in putting energy, time and resources into creative pursuits. Society I believe benefits from both. Karen Briscoe, author "Success in 5 Minutes a Day". ...more
Patrick Perini
I really enjoy Florida's ideas, and the practical philosophy he outlines in this book. But the writing is highly academic, and often forgets the reader, making a somewhat heady concept even harder to grasp. ...more
Casey Willits
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
At this point so much of it is dated. Some has been rejected by academics and the chattering class. Some has been blindly adopted as gospel truth. Even more has been ignored as having provided much of the structural changes that underlay the 2016 presidential election.
Yates Buckley
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
The hypothesis of a rising creative class needs to be integrated in other changes such as automation and increased inequality. The idea is interesting and might even have been true for a moment but unsustainable in current environment.
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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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22 likes · 4 comments
“The creative individual is no longer viewed as an iconoclast. He—or she—is the new mainstream.” 2 likes
“It's not that gays and diversity equal high technology. But if your culture is not such that it can accept difference, and uniqueness and oddity and eccentricity, you will not get high tech industry.” 2 likes
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