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
Meanwhile, as Tewksbury Memorial High School (TMHS), just north of Boston,
opened in the fall of 1999, forty brand-new royal blue uniforms newly purchased
for the marching band remained in storage, since only four students signed up to
6 Even the simplest political act, voting, was becoming ever more common. From
1920, when women got the vote, through 1960, turnout in presidential elections
had risen at the rate of 1.6 percent every four years, so on a simple straight-line ...
Some of these factors turn out to have played no significant roleatallintheerosion
of social capital, but we shall be able to identify three or four critical sources of
our problem. Whereas section III asks “Why?” section IV asks “So What?” Social ...
The conventional explanation for our low turnout as compared with other
democracies points precisely to the hurdles of registration. Over the last four
decades, however, registration requirements in America have been greatly
relaxed. Political ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JosephKing6602 - LibraryThing
Amazing use of archival data and formal US survey information. I read the edition published in 2000; I wish it were being updates for 2020. Very timely issues about civic engagement. Read full 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