Richard Sennett was born in Chicago, Illinois, on 1 January 1943. He started his career by studying musicology and the cello at the Juilliard School in New York, but following a failed operation on his hand, he changed direction and set out on a career in the sciences at Harvard University. On completing his studies in urbanism, Sennett founded a sociology research centre, the Cambridge Institute, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As the founding director of the prestigious New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University, established in 1975, he has promoted cooperation between the fields of science, politics, business, the arts and media. Richard Sennett serves as an urban planning consultant for UNESCO. He divides his time between New York University and the London School of Economics, where he has chairs.
His cutting-edge research and his very own style of expression have made his books hugely popular. His best-known works include “The Fall of Public Man” (1977), “Authority” (1980), “The Conscience of the Eye. The Design and Social Life of Cities” (1990), “Flesh and Stone. The Body and the City in Western Civilization” (1994), “The Corrosion of Character. The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism” (1998) and “Respect in a World of Inequality” (2002), to name but a few. Sennett still believes in a better future, as borne out by his 2008 book “The Craftsman”, which explores the relations between making concrete things and thinking about them; this book consummates Mr. Sennett's long-standing explorations of the culture of work.“