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
claims about the direction in which our country was headed as we rounded the
corner into a new century. And now, twenty years later, we are left to wonder how
those claims have held up. Most, it turns out, have held up reasonably well.3 One
Bowling Alone looked specifically at the second half of the twentieth century and
saw mostly declines in measures of social capital. But it ignored the equally
important first half of the century, when, as I discovered, almost all of the
measures I ...
Liberation from ossified community bonds is a recurrent and honored theme in
our culture, from the Pilgrims' storied escape from religious convention in the
seventeenth century to the lyric nineteenth-century paeans to individualism by ...
Debates about the waxing and waning of “community” have been endemic for at
least two centuries. “Declensionist ... This ambivalence about the consequences
of large-scale changes continued well into the twentieth century. Analysts have ...
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