From Publishers Weekly
Sociologist Oldenburg (The Great, Good Place) offers a compilation of essays on those places in America "where everybody knows your name." What Oldenburg calls "the third place" is different from home and work (the first and second places respectively) it's somewhere people can relax in good company on a regular basis. In this collection of 19 essays, proprietors and patrons of those third places describe how their establishments came into being and what exactly gives them their appeal. These third places aren't just diners and coffeehouses: there are establishments as disparate as Annie's Gift and Garden Shop, in Amherst, Mass., whose witty and provocative billboards provide a jumping-off point for conversation within the community, and Old St. George, an espresso bar located within a church's sacristy in Cleveland, Ohio. There's also the "great good gym" and, perhaps most surprising, an essay claiming prison to be the third place for many disadvantaged in American society. These charming and often thought-provoking essays, each written in a voice distinct as the place discussed, provide food for thought into the isolation our modern conveniences bring and people's need to come together as a community. This book will strike a comforting chord for those questioning the status quo and desiring to live a more authentic and connected way of life.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
RAY OLDENBURG, PH.D., Professor Emeritus of sociology at the University of West Florida, coined the term "third place" and is widely recognized as one of the worlds leading advocates for and authorities on great good places. His book, The Great Good Place,
a New York Times Book Review
Editors Choice for 1989, was reissued in 1999. He is frequently sought after as a media commentator and consultant to entrepreneurs, community and urban planners, and others. He lives in Pensacola, Florida.