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Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories About the "Great Good Places" at the Heart of Our Communities Paperback – January 9, 2002


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Celebrating the Third Place: Inspiring Stories About the "Great Good Places" at the Heart of Our Communities + The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community + Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (January 9, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569246122
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569246122
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #212,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 world’s leading advocates for and authorities on great good places. His book, The Great Good Place, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s 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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steven Lim on May 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book contains so many highly inspirational stories which reflects on the fact that Modern day societies no longer provide ample "breathing" space for "socialising". It shows how and where people really and truly like to interact and how "knowledge" is being shared (freely) without fear of any kind. From a business sense, if we can capitalise on some of these "Third Places", we might even established a profitable venture! Steven Lim (RSTN) - Singapore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wombat on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I enjoyed reading 'first person" pieces from owners/originators of 'great third places,' I was hoping for a greater range and variety. There were of course a lot of coffee shops, and overall most were very small businesses. Does that mean that a larger business can't create & sustain the third place idea? I don't think so, but this book celebrates small and personal, and for many places success rests in the hands of one or two special employees. That's not strategy, that's personality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pat French on April 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book. It clued me in to something I've been yearning for without realizing what it was--a community. The examples provided range from coffeeshops to restaurants to a garden center to a gym to a barbershop to a prison (yes, really). These places seem to be disappearing quickly in our sterilized, cookie-cutter society, so if you have one or manage to find one, hang onto it!
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