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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[Putnam] shows us the real problems... and offers some broad-based goals that
will help us to connect better with one another.” —Inc. Magazine “This book
deserves a wide audience. It deals seriously and imaginatively with one of the
32 Indeed, my latest book (The Upswing, coauthored with Shaylyn Romney
Garrett) shows unequivocally just how thoroughly America has continued to
regress in the intervening twenty years—a downward plunge resulting not merely
To avoid cluttering the text with masses of redundant evidence, I have typically
put confirmatory evidence from multiple studies in the notes, so skeptical “show
me” readers should examine those notes as well as the text.27 I have sought as ...
As we have seen, these measures show some thinning of the ranks of political
spectators, particularly at the end of the stadium where the younger generation
sits. But most of the fans are still in their seats, following the action and chatting ...
The record appears to show an impressive increase in the sheer number of
voluntary associations over the last three decades. The number of nonprofit
organizations of national scope listed in the Encyclopedia of Associations more
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