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Television, two-career families, suburban sprawl, generational changes in values--these and other changes in American society have meant that fewer and fewer of us find that the League of Women Voters, or the United Way, or the Shriners, or the monthly bridge club, or even a Sunday picnic with friends fits the way we have come to live. Our growing social-capital deficit threatens educational performance, safe neighborhoods, equitable tax collection, democratic responsiveness, everyday honesty, and even our health and happiness.The conclusions reached in the book Bowling Alone rest on a mountain of data gathered by Putnam and a team of researchers since his original essay appeared. Its breadth of information is astounding--yes, he really has statistics showing people are less likely to take Sunday picnics nowadays. Dozens of charts and graphs track everything from trends in PTA participation to the number of times Americans say they give "the finger" to other drivers each year. If nothing else, Bowling Alone is a fascinating collection of factoids. Yet it does seem to provide an explanation for why "we tell pollsters that we wish we lived in a more civil, more trustworthy, more collectively caring community." What's more, writes Putnam, "Americans are right that the bonds of our communities have withered, and we are right to fear that this transformation has very real costs." Putnam takes a stab at suggesting how things might change, but the book's real strength is in its diagnosis rather than its proposed solutions. Bowling Alone won't make Putnam any less controversial, but it may come to be known as a path-breaking work of scholarship, one whose influence has a long reach into the 21st century. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
My parents used to have dinner parties and cocktail parties. Their friends would come over to play cards. Read morePublished 10 days ago by katherine tomlinson
This is a wonderful book about community, social capital, and society. It's a current classic with information that fits well today. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Nothin' Could be Fina'
The American sense of community has disintegrated... wow... tell me something we don't all already know. What's the cause? I don't know for sure, but look... charts! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Brendan
Very thought-provoking book. It reads a bit too much like an academic sociology book for my taste, but in fairness, that's exactly what it is. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
just didn't like the book. I'm not a good person to ask about valuePublished 2 months ago by chris fiedler