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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NO ONE IS LEFT from the Glenn Valley, Pennsylvania, Bridge Club who can tell
us precisely when or why the group broke up, even though its forty-odd members
were still playing regularly as recently as 1990, just as they had done for more ...
... the same idea was independently rediscovered in the 1950s by Canadian
sociologists to characterize the club memberships of arriviste suburbanites, in the
1960s by urbanist Jane Jacobs to laud neighborliness in the modern metropolis,
... like a bridge club, exist for the private enjoyment of the members; and some,
like the Rotary club mentioned earlier, ... capital include ethnic fraternal
organizations, church-based women's reading groups, and fashionable country
... our methods must be transparent. Is life in communities as we enter the twenty-
first century really so different after all from the reality of American communities in
the 1950s and 1960s? One way of curbing nostalgia is to count things. Are club ...
... to leave people out is to miss the whole point of the exercise. Participation in
politics is increasingly based on the checkbook, as money replaces time. While
membership in a political club was cut in half between 1967 and 1987, the
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