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
... manages to be data-rich without being theory-averse, scholarly yet undeniably
relevant.” —Benjamin Barber, The Nation “Bowling Alone provides important new
data on the trends in civic engagement and social capital, a revised analysis of ...
... twentieth century. For most of the twentieth century growing numbers of
Americans were involved in such chapter-based associations.16 Of course, the
U.S. population was growing, too, but our analysis here eliminates that inflation
factor by ...
Even though our historical analysis so far has cast as wide a net as possible in
terms of different types of organizations, it is certainly possible that newer, more
dynamic organizations have escaped our scrutiny. If so, the picture of decline that
Those numbers suggest that nearly half of all Americans in the 1960s invested
some time each week in clubs and local associations, as compared to less than
one-quarter in the 1990s.34 Further analysis of the time diary evidence suggests
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