Matthew B. Crawford majored in physics as an undergraduate, then turned to political philosophy (Ph.D. Chicago). His writings for The New Atlantis bring the two concerns together, and consider how developments in the sciences influence our view of the human person. Currently a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, he also runs a small business in Richmond.
The theme of his first book is manual competence. The book reflects on the experience of building things and fixing things, and considers the problem of living concretely in an ever more abstract world. Entitled Shop Class as Soulcraft, after theNew Atlantis essay by the same name, the book was released by The Penguin Press in 2009.
His latest book, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction, published in early 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, is on the theme of attention as a cultural problem.