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The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World Paperback – October 2, 2001

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Editorial Reviews Review

Do you "give a lot of importance to helping other people and bringing out their unique gifts?" Do you "dislike all the emphasis in modern culture on success and 'making it,' on getting and spending, on wealth and luxury goods?" Do you "want to be involved in creating a new and better way of life for our country?" If you answered yes to all three of these questions--and at least seven more of the remaining 15 in Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson's questionnaire--then you are probably a Cultural Creative.

Cultural Creative is a term coined by Ray and Anderson to describe people whose values embrace a curiosity and concern for the world, its ecosystem, and its peoples; an awareness of and activism for peace and social justice; and an openness to self-actualization through spirituality, psychotherapy, and holistic practices. Cultural Creatives do not just take the money and run; they don't want to defund the National Endowment for the Arts; and they do want women to get a fairer shake--not only in the United States, but around the globe.

On the basis of Ray and Anderson's research, about 50 million Americans are Cultural Creatives, a group that includes people of all races, ages, and classes. This subculture could have enormous social and political clout, the authors argue, if only it had any consciousness of itself as a cohesive unit, a society of fellow travelers. The husband and wife team wrote the book "to hold up a mirror" to the members of this vast but diffuse group, to show them they are not alone and that they can reshape society to make it more authentic, compassionate, and engaged. It is an idealistic call for a new agenda for a new millennium. --I. Crane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In an attempt to reconceptualize shifting American demographics that's similar to David Brook's Bobos in Paradise (Forecasts, Mar. 13), Ray and Anderson posit that hidden within America are 50 million people, 26% of the population, who are what they call "cultural creatives." Based on 12 years of survey research, 100 focus groups and dozens of interviews, their study presents a complex portrait of these citizens. According to the authors, cultural creatives share a series of attitudes and concerns: "they like to get a synoptic view [and] see all the parts spread out side by side and trace the interconnections"; they have strong concerns about the well-being of families; they have a well-developed social consciousness and a "guarded optimism for the future"; they are disenchanted with "owning more stuff... materialism... status display and the glaring social inequities of race" and are critical of almost every big institution of modern society, including corporations and government. This cultural groupAdrawn from all classes, races, education and income levels and social backgroundsAhas emerged only during the past 50 years and, according to the authors, forms a coherent subculture, only "missing a self-awareness as a whole people." Ray and Anderson argue that cultural creatives hold the potential for radically reshaping the values and material realities, the "deep structure," of American life, and so they aim to make this group cognizant of their shared values, to bring about substantive changes. More successful than Brooks in grappling with issues of gender, ethnicity, race and class, Ray and Anderson offer unusual insights that, while broad and sweeping, shed new light on American culture and politics. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (October 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609808451
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609808450
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.9 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Edit of 11 Sep 08 to add links.

This book should be read together with Imagine: What America Could be in the 21st century, edited by Marianne Williamson. Taken together, the two books are inspirational while still being practical.

Cultural Creatives as a book, and some of the other reviews, tend to over-sell the success of the emergence of an alternative lifestyle to Traditionalists (stereotyped as somewhat red neckish and religious rightists) and Moderns (stereotyped as ravish the earth anything-goes corporate carpetbaggers). The reality is that there are as many "cultural creatives" as there are people with disabilities in the United States--50 million. Not one quarter of the population, as one reviewer claims.

Having said that, by way of somber stage-setting, I cannot say enough good things about this book. It should be required reading for every citizen, every student, and every public official. In a very real sense, this book strikes me as a truly seminal work that could help millions of individuals reframe their personal connection to one another, to their Republic, and to the earth.

This is neither a tree-hugger book nor a mantras R us book. This book provides a thoughtful review of how different movements--first the environmental movement, then the human rights movement, and finally the consciousness movement--have come together to define an alternative lifestyle and alternative paradigm for political and economic and social relationships in the larger context of a sustainable "whole" earth.

I found this book motivational and meaningful at both a personal level and a larger national level.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Natasha Todorovic on October 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you've ever felt odd, out of place, unusual or aware of seeing things differently from most, it might be because you are a `Cultural Creative.' This book is exciting because of the life it brings to the study of values in a thus far overlooked but growing cultural segment in America. This previously quiet but powerful group wields greater and greater influence in all aspects of life.
Dr. Paul Ray surveyed over 100,000 Americans in the nine years before his 1996 report 'The Integral Culture Survey: A Study of the Emergence of Transformational Values in America' where he identified three distinct subcultures of values - Traditionals, Moderns and Cultural Creatives. He reveals, that this is a 'very unusual time in history - for change in the dominant cultural pattern happens only once or twice a millennium.' This is both wonderful and scary news.
Paul's wife, partner and coauthor, Dr. Sherry Anderson stands in her own right with the wonderful 'Feminine Face of God: The Unfolding of the Sacred in Women' where she forewarned that the 'awesome planetary crisis in which we are now living is literally flinging us towards ... the next developmental step: to be in good relationship with all life...' Together they have injected vitality into the reams of data with up-close and personal interviews. They have partnered to create a wonderful, readable and intimate view into contemporary thinking and the dynamics between differing worldviews. A peep into the book reveals:
"Direct personal experience is also important to Cultural Creatives in the projects they create and give their time and money to support. They expect to follow through on their values with personal action. Many are convinced that if they are not engaged, their convictions are "just talk.
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60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Terry Mathews on December 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Psychologists Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson have written a handbook for people who are working to make this world a better place. Their book, THE CULTURAL CREATIVES - HOW 50 MILLION PEOPLE ARE CHANGING THE WORLD - is a guidebook for those who are interested in saving the planet, nurturing their personal relationships, and being sensitive without being stomped on.
You might be a Cultural Creative if you're into: books and music; arts and culture; stories; social causes, especially issues dealing with women and children; and authenticity. The authors have created an interesting test to gauge where you stand in the mix and use a lot of graphs throughout the book to identify cultural creatives and their issues.
If you're from the '60s and you've ever wondered what to do with all the energy created during that period of our lives, this book will open your eyes. If you've sometimes felt like an alien in your own family, the authors will offer you comfort because you're not alone. Even if you're just wondering why cultural creatives are so passionate about their lives, this planet, and their causes, this book will help you put it all together.
Cultural Creatives include such personalities as: Pope John Paul XXIII; Martin Luther King, Jr.; The Dalai Lama; Annie Dillard; Georgia O'Keeffe; Marc Chagall; Yo-Yo Ma; Robert Redford; Katharine Hepburn; and Bill Moyers. Pretty good company, don't you think?
While the book represents a lot of research on the part of the authors, the data is never presented in a dry, boring format. I found it hard to put the book down. The information resonated with me -- I'm from the 60's -- and it gave me hope for the future of our species and our planet.
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