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.
Results 1-5 of 100
—Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun “Deserves to be compared to such
classic works as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society.” —John Atlas,
Newark Star-Ledger “Its four hundred pages are crammed with statistics and
Of baby boomers interviewed in 1987, 53 percent thought their parents'
generation was better in terms of “being a concerned citizen, involved in helping
others in the community,” as compared with only 21 percent who thought their
However, our interest here is not “How are we doing compared with other
countries?” but “How are we doing today compared with our own past?” The
answer to that question is less encouraging. We begin with the most common act
Compared to demographically matched nonvoters, voters are more likely to be
interested in politics, to give to charity, to volunteer, to serve on juries, to attend
community school board meetings, to participate in public demonstrations, and to
participation solely through the vote.... Compared with those who engage in
various other political acts, voters report a different mix of gratification and a
different bundle of issue concerns as being behind their activity.... [V]oting is sui
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