Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work -- but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, Bowling Alone, which The Economist hailed as "a prodigious achievement."
Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans' changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures -- whether they be PTA, church, or political parties -- have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm that these broken bonds have wreaked on our physical and civic health, nor had anyone exalted their fundamental power in creating a society that is happy, healthy, and safe.
Like defining works from the past, such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society, and like the works of C. Wright Mills and Betty Friedan, Putnam's Bowling Alone has identified a central crisis at the heart of our society and suggests what we can do.
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—John Atlas, Newark Star-Ledger “Its four hundred pages are crammed with
statistics and analyses that seek to document civic decline in the United States....
Bowling Alone is to be commended for stimulating awareness of civic
... the name implies.5 The civic-minded World War II generation was, as its own
John F. Kennedy proclaimed at his inauguration, picking up the torch of
leadership, not only in the nation's highest office, but in cities and towns across
BEFORE OCTOBER 29, 1997, John Lambert and Andy Boschma knew each
other only through their local bowling league at the Ypsi-Arbor Lanes in Ypsilanti,
Michigan. Lambert, a sixty-four-year-old retired employee of the University of ...
In 1960, 62.8 percent of voting-age Americans went to the polls to choose
between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. In 1996, after decades of
slippage, 48.9 percent of voting-age Americans chose among Bill Clinton, Bob
Dole, and ...
From these sets of diaries we can reconstruct how the average American'suse
oftime gradually evolved over the three decades between 1965 and1995.32
Broadly speaking, as John Robinson, director of the time diary project, has
shown, our ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jonerthon - LibraryThing
Probably the last of the older titles that has been on my reading list too long. Though it is dated in some ways, I was glad to finally get through this one and understand why so many planners have ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - ddonahue - LibraryThing
The present withdrawal of the individual from social organizations now resembles the situation after WW I as depicted in Chapter IX of Eckstein's Rites of Spring, in which he describes veteran's eschewal of social commitments. Read full review