Richard Florida Books

The Rise of the Creative Class

By Richard Florida

Florida’s first national bestseller received the Washington Monthly’s Political Book Award and was cited as a major breakthrough idea of 2004 by the Harvard Business Review. Toronto’s Globe and Mail called it “an intellectual tour de force, scholarly yet colorfully written,” and its ideas have been implemented and called on for inspiration in communities and cities across the United States and the world.

Rise, as it has been appropriately re-dubbed in the popular lexicon, looks at the forces reshaping our economy and how companies, communities and people can survive and prosper in uncertain times. It 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 reams of cutting-edge research, Florida traces the fundamental theme that runs through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American society: the growing role of creativity in our economy.

Just as William Whyte’s 1956 classic The Organization Man showed how the organizational ethos of that age permeated every aspect of life, Florida describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly dominant. Millions of us are beginning to work and live much as creative types like artists and scientists always have. Our values and tastes, our personal relationships, our choices of where to live, and even our sense and use of time are changing.

Leading this transformation are the 40 million Americans – over a third of our national workforce – who create for a living. This “creative class” is found in a variety of fields, from engineering to theater, biotech to education, architecture to small business. Their choices have already had a huge economic impact. In the future, they will determine how the workplace is organized, what companies will prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities will thrive or wither.

The Rise of the Creative Class ranks #9 on The Globe and Mail’s list of Bestselling Business Books
November 2009 – The Globe and Mail
“Top 12 Books for Entrepreneurs”
November 2009 –
“ Best Business Book of All Time”
“Ten years later, (Florida’s original) book seems prescient.  For the first time, being different is more prized than fitting in and black-and-white thinkers are being left behind.”
Business Insider
“Florida’s book leaves the reader not just with some interesting ideas but with a new perspective for understanding our culture…Well worth reading if you’re seeking a greater understanding of the sociological and economic changes taking place in our culture today…interesting, provocative, and smart.”
The Boston Globe
“Must Read for Management Revolutionaries”
December 9, 2008 — Wall Street Journal, Author, Competing for the Future and visiting professor, London Business School
“Richard Florida’s ‘RISE OF THE CREATIVE CLASS’ … is an important book for those who feel passionately about the future of the urban center. In fact, Florida virtually defines us…. [H]e has outlined the identity of the contemporary city’s core population. Just by daring to use the word class, he’s changed the framework for discussing social and economic inequality.”
— Herbert Muschamp, New York Times, Year in Review
“A powerful, insightful book that reveals the core of regional advantage in the knowledge economy. Never before have I seen anyone capture so succinctly the values and desires of the new ‘creative class’ and the essence of human capital and the creative ethos. This is a book you will read cover to cover and feel enlightened by every chapter.”
— John Seely Brown, Former Director, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and co-author of The Social Life of Information
“The Rise of the Creative Class is an insightful portrait of the values and lifestyles that will drive the 21st century economy, its technologies and social structures. To understand how scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other self-motivated, creative people are challenging the traditional structures of the 20th century society, read this book. It will convince you that success in the future is not about technology, government, management or even power; it is all about people and their dynamic and emergent patterns of relationships.”
— Lewis M. Branscomb, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
“Few people provide greater clarity on the importance of place in the knowledge-driven economy than Richard Florida. The Rise of the Creative Class provides critical insights in how we can build 21st-century cities and regions around the emerging economy.”
— Robert D. Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association, New York
“Florida’s book leaves the reader not just with some interesting ideas but with a new perspective for understanding our culture… Well worth reading if you’re seeking a greater understanding of the sociological and economic changes taking place in our culture today… interesting, provocative, and smart.”
— The Boston Globe
“Prof. Florida’s book is an intellectual tour de force, scholarly yet colorfully written, with interest to members of the creative class.”
— Globe and Mail (Canada’s leading newspaper)
“… attracting the type of attention usually garnered by salacious fiction or celebrity tell-alls, from packed readings to a rapid ascent up Amazon’s bestseller list. … Public policy and regional development books are often considered best as a cure for insomnia, but Florida’s work is challenging many of the verities of the field.”
“The creative-capital theory turned out – at least after preliminary testing – to provide the best explanation for Austin’s high-tech transformation.”
— New York Times
“A vibrant and fast-paced romp… Florida’s research and experiences over the past decade have given him the foundation on which to build a new view of business reality…”
“… a pioneering cartographer of talent.”
— Fast Company
“…a seminal book that was written 10 years ago that has since redefined the economic policies of major cities throughout the United States.”
— Derrick Braziel, NUVO Newsweekly
“A smart and interesting book that takes a well-known cultural phenomeno…the critical massing of technology and creative workers of talent in certain cities…and mixes in some new elements about why they cohere”
— AlterNet
“The Rise of the Creative Class… should be must reading for everyone…particularly elected officials, senior business executives and economic development specialists.”
— Gulf Coast Business Review
“…a stunningly original and intriguing book…”
— Entrepreneuership and Innovation
“An exhaustive study that ought to be read by every city planner and economic developer who wants to thrive in the next century… It tells us a lot about ourselves, where we’ve been and where we are going.”
— Shreveport Times
“A smart and interesting book…”
— AlterNet
“Florida draws a vivid picture of what it takes to make a great 21st-century city.”
— Denver Post
“Cuts to the core what mindsets and skills are necessary to professionally and socially make one’s way in the 21st century…”
— O’Dyer’s PR Daily
“Florida’s work is thorough, compelling and worth reading…”
— The Citizen’s Weekly Reading
“The new way of thinking is: the more music you have, the more art, the preserved downtown–the more creative the influence is on where you live.’”
— Actress, Cybill Shepard on The Rise of the Creative Class
“…a very inflential book…”
Gainsville Sun, April 2010
“Richard Florida’s first book, The Rise of the Creative Class, is a must read for anyone that cares about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial communities.”
Fast Company, August 2010
“Mayor Tulley suggested all mayors read the book, ‘The Rise of The Creative Class’ by Richard Florida.”
Mayor Tulley, Titusville Florida
“If I could order all of Philadelphia to read one book, it would be …The Rise of the Creative Class…because this points to how we can take advantage of our great potential to become a world class city and region.”
Carol Fixman, Executive director, Philadelphia Education Fund
“Fast Company Business Book Hall of Fame”
Fast Company, March 2011
“In his landmark book, ‘The Rise of the Creative Class,’ Richard Florida turned our understanding of economic development upside down.”
The Star Press, August 2012
“WHEN Richard Florida’s book The Rise of the Creative Class was published in 2002, it was received simultaneously as a cultural snapshot, a flattering social portrait and a plan of action. It put forward the intoxicating idea that where creativity gathers, economic success follows.”
The Australian, August 2012
“In his landmark book, ‘The Rise of the Creative Class,’ Richard Florida turned our understanding of economic development upside down.”
The Star Press, August 2012
“Richard Florida set off a nationwide discussion when his 2002 book ‘The Rise of the Creative Class. And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure and Everyday Life’ came out..”
Courier-Journal, August 2012
“In the ten years since Richard Florida published ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’ his research has influenced ideas about economic development and urban planning around the world.”
The State Journal Register, September 2012
“Great read…”
Design Feast, September 2012
“You’ll hear business leaders around town citing “The Rise of the Creative Class” by Richard Florida, a book that Hamilton describes as starting ‘a ripple in our community.’ ”
The Charlotte Observer, November 2012
“ The book was immensely influential…”
John Talton, The Seattle Times, April 2017
“Richard Florida became America’s best known urbanist with the publication of his book,
Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, April 2017 
“Richard Florida’s book “The Rise of the Creative Class” correctly argued that in the 21st century urban success would stem from skills and innovation, not smoke stacks and heavy industry.”
Edward Glaeser, The Wall Street Journal, May 2017
“Best-selling and widely influential”
Steven Threndyle, Montecristo Magazine, May 2017
Rise of the Creative Class News Articles

The Detroit Free Press : Design industries are critical to Detroit’s future but need nurturing

Back in 2002, urban guru Richard Florida published his influential book “The Rise of the Creative Class,” which highlighted the importance of so-called “creatives” — artists, graphic designers, architects, and others — to the vitality of cities trying to overcome long-term decline. Florida’s book helped set the agenda for many a city, including Detroit, where the CEO group Business Leaders for Michigan launched the Detroit Creative Corridor Center in 2010.

November 15, 2018
EventsInternational publicationsRise of the Creative Class News ArticlesThe Great Reset News Articles

WIRED : Richard Florida: ‘The crash boosted innovation’

Richard Florida is the day’s last speaker at the London Conference, an annual gathering of influencers to debate the city’s challenges and opportunities, in November 2012.
The author of The Rise of the Creative Class has been cited — by such diverse figures as David Cameron and Bono — as an expert on how cities must evolve.

April 10, 2013
Creative ClassEventsRise of the Creative Class News ArticlesThe Great Reset News Articles

Press of Atlantic City : Economist tells Atlantic City conference that ‘creative class’ is future of work force

What does it take to revitalize Atlantic City and other places hit hard by the recession, the housing-market collapse and the vanishing manufacturing industry? Economist Richard Florida answers by looking at how this market upheaval differs from others in American history.

November 5, 2012
Files / Working PapersRise of the Creative Class Features and Reviews

Economic Development Quarterly : The Creative Class and Economic Development

The Rise of the Creative Class, which was originally published in 2002, has generated widespread conversation and debate and has had a considerable impact on economic development policy and practice. This essay briefly recaps the key tenants of the creative class theory of economic development, discusses the key issues in the debate over it, and assesses its impacts on economic development policy.

July 17, 2014

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