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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—Howard Upton, Tulsa World “Plainly argued and compulsively readable... [
Bowling Alone] is an agenda-setting book that will be the starting point of
discussion and debate for years to come.” —Mark Chaves, The Christian Century
Others expressed the view that the solidarity produced by hardship in the Great
Depression, or military service in World War II, shaped them into communitarians
who now felt unmoored in a more individualistic America. Baby boomers, who ...
And PBS drew on Bowling Alone for inspiration and guidance in reinventing
public broadcasting in a more individualistic world. The Franconia (NH) Heritage
Council was inspired to compile a two-century history of local organizations and ...
Along the way I began to embrace the idea captured by the epitaph on Marx's
gravestone—that he sought not merely to interpret the world but to change it. My
purpose, of course, was to try to contribute to a “revival of American community,”
As a matter of fact, mankind now possesses for the first time the tools and
knowledge to create whatever kind of world he wants.... Despite our Protestant
ethic, there are many signs that the message is beginning to get through to some
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