Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance [50th Anniversary Edition]: An Inquiry into Values (Paperback)
50th anniversary edition • With a new foreword by Matthew B. Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft
The bestselling masterpiece about one man’s search for meaning on a motorcycle trip through the American West— an enduring examination of how we live and how to live better
One of the most important and influential books of the past half century, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is Robert M. Pirsig’s classic exploration of human experience and endeavor. Pirsig’s narrative of a father and son on a summer motorcycle trip becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life’s fundamental questions. A true modern classic, it remains at once touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.
“Profoundly important. . . . Full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas.” —New York Times
Robert M. Pirsig (1928–2017) is the author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which has sold more than five-million copies since its publication in 1974, and Lila, a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He graduated from the University of Minnesota (B.A., 1950; M.A., 1958) and attended Benares Hindu University in India, where he studied Eastern philosophy, and the University of Chicago, where he pursued a PhD in philosophy. Pirsig’s motorcycle resides in the Smithsonian Institution.
“An unforgettable trip.” — Time
“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sold millions of copies and made Pirsig a reluctant hero to generations of intellectual wanderers…Zen was an instant classic — a work of literature that captured the spirit of its time and retained its appeal long after the hippie movement had faded.” — Washington Post
“A touchstone. … Pirsig’s plunge into the grand philosophical questions of Western culture remained near the top of the bestseller lists for a decade and helped define the post-hippie 1970s landscape.” — New York Times
“The truly great road trip novel. … Many former angsty teens will surely fondly recall their own dog-eared, heavily underlined copies of Pirsig’s book, and the initial joy that accompanied reading something that felt so specifically personal and yet so urgently universal. … Zen’s ongoing reprints, its devoted fan base, and the countless road trips and pseudo-spiritual journeys it’s inspired are indicative of the book’s ongoing appeal.” — GQ
“Inspired college classes, academic conferences and a legion of 'Pirsig pilgrims' who retrace the anguished, cross-country motorcycle trip at the heart of his novel.” — Los Angeles Times
“Profoundly important...full of insights into our most perplexing contemporary dilemmas.” — New York Times
“The book is inspired, original. . . . The analogies with Moby-Dick are patent.” — The New Yorker
“It is filled with beauty. . .a finely made whole that seems to emanate from a very special grace.” — Baltimore Sun
“A miracle . . . sparkles like an electric dream.” — The Village Voice