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The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society Hardcover – January 7, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Mentioned in The Observer
(Oliver Marre Observer)

Mentioned in The Jewish Chronicle, October 2007
(The Jewish Chronicle, USA)

Mentioned in The Times, October 2007
(The Times)

"He [Sacks] argues like an expert dancer, leading his audience through a waltz of lilting reasonableness"—Rafael Behr, Observer
(Rafael Behr Observer)

Title mention in Jewish News, 2007
(Charlie Wolf, Jewish News)

Title mention in Jewish Chronicle, 2007


"A deeply philosophical, yet extremely hard-hitting book..."
Doreen Wachmann, Jewish Telegraph
(Doreen Wachmann, Jewish Telegraph)

Title mention in an article by Jonathan Sacks in The Times, October 2007
(Times)

Extract from the book used in an article by Jonathan Sacks in The Times, October 2007
(Times)

"British Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is the premierpublic intellectual of Judaism in the English-speaking world and has no obviouscounterpart in the communities of Judaismconducted in other languages. No one in Israeli intellectual life competes.
This book joins with its predecessors...to form an oeuvre ofmoral authority and compelling logic. For a corpus of writing substantiallyless ambitious than this some have received the Nobel Prize." —Jerusalem Post

Title mention in The Sunday Telegraph, December 2007


Sacks, an award-winning author and the chief rabbiof the United Hebrew Congregations of Britain and the Commonwealth,painstakingly presents a history of the breakdown of civil society aswell as a compelling philosophy with which to restore civility toBritish government and daily life. Global communications technologydeteriorates our sense of national identity, he states here, whilemulticulturalism exacerbates the situation by encouraging socialfragmentation, especially along religious lines. We have created a"society as hotel," in which individualism and compartmentalization arethe rule of the day. By participating in a social covenant devoted tothe common good, we can create society as the "home we build together,"a society in which we are integrated but not assimilated and in whichwe all invest of ourselves to support the whole. Sacks's arguments arecompelling, as is his analysis of the advent and results of themulticulturist movement. While applicable to most Western democracies,this work is firmly rooted in British sociopolitical concerns and iswritten in an approachable but scholarly style. Recommended foracademic or larger public libraries.
—Library Journal
(Library Journal)

Interview with author and title mention in Church of England Newspaper, January 2008


"This is JonathanSacks' new book on the future of British society and the dangers facing liberaldemocracy. A counterweight to his earlier book, "The Dignity ofDifference", Sacks makes the case for "integrated diversity"within a framework of shared political values. Arguing that globalcommunications have fragmented national cultures and that multiculturalism,intended to reduce social friction, is today reinforcing it, Sacks calls for anew approach to national identity. He envisions a responsibility-based ratherthan rights-based model of citizenship that connects the ideas of giving andbelonging. We should see society as "the home we build together",bringing the distinctive gifts of different groups to the common good. Sackswarns of the hazards free and open societies face in the 21st century, andoffers an unusual religious defense of liberal democracy and the nation state.
This logical sequel to Sacks'award-winning "The Dignity of Difference" (Continuum), "The HomeWe Build Together" makes a compelling case for "integrateddiversity" within a framework of shared political values. Some of thechapters deal with A Brief History of Multiculturalism, Technology and TheFragmentation of Culture, Loss of Moral Consensus, Losing Confidence, TheBreakdown of The Family, Faith in Freedom, The Concept of a Social Covenant, AReligious Defense of Liberal Democracy, Active Citizenship, The Jewish Experience,Tolerance, In Defense of The Nation State, Social Capital, Bilingualism andothers. An excellent and intelligentstudy of modern society. -Jewish Media Review

Title mention in the Telegraph, 2007


Title reviewed by David Martin in The Tablet, January 2008.


"In this important book, Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi — widely recognised in this country as a public intellectual — addresses a crucial theme: how can we honour the diversity now present in Britain without losing that which holds us together?"
Reviewed by Grace Davie in Church Times, May 2008


"In this environment, it is an imperativethat we honor Rabbi Sacks' message. The Home We Build Together is thus anessential read for all of us, and I commend Rabbi Sacks for writing it." —SephardicHeritage Update

"Jonathan Sacks adds his influential voice to those who want to see an end to multiculturalism"
David Miller, Times Literary Supplement, 11 February 2008


Mentioned in The Observer
(Sanford Lakoff Observer)

Mentioned in The Jewish Chronicle, October 2007
(Sanford Lakoff)

Mentioned in The Times, October 2007
(Sanford Lakoff)

"He [Sacks] argues like an expert dancer, leading his audience through a waltz of lilting reasonableness"—Rafael Behr, Observer
(Sanford Lakoff Observer)

Title mention in Jewish News, 2007
(Sanford Lakoff)

"A deeply philosophical, yet extremely hard-hitting book..."
Doreen Wachmann, Jewish Telegraph
(Sanford Lakoff)

"British Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is the premierpublic intellectual of Judaism in the English-speaking world and has no obviouscounterpart in the communities of Judaismconducted in other languages. No one in Israeli intellectual life competes.
This book joins with its predecessors...to form an oeuvre ofmoral authority and compelling logic. For a corpus of writing substantiallyless ambitious than this some have received the Nobel Prize." –Jerusalem Post

This is JonathanSacks' new book on the future of British society and the dangers facing liberaldemocracy. A counterweight to his earlier book, "The Dignity ofDifference", Sacks makes the case for "integrated diversity"within a framework of shared political values. Arguing that globalcommunications have fragmented national cultures and that multiculturalism,intended to reduce social friction, is today reinforcing it, Sacks calls for anew approach to national identity. He envisions a responsibility-based ratherthan rights-based model of citizenship that connects the ideas of giving andbelonging. We should see society as "the home we build together",bringing the distinctive gifts of different groups to the common good. Sackswarns of the hazards free and open societies face in the 21st century, andoffers an unusual religious defense of liberal democracy and the nation state.
This logical sequel to Sacks'award-winning "The Dignity of Difference" (Continuum), "The HomeWe Build Together" makes a compelling case for "integrateddiversity" within a framework of shared political values. Some of thechapters deal with A Brief History of Multiculturalism, Technology and TheFragmentation of Culture, Loss of Moral Consensus, Losing Confidence, TheBreakdown of The Family, Faith in Freedom, The Concept of a Social Covenant, AReligious Defense of Liberal Democracy, Active Citizenship, The Jewish Experience,Tolerance, In Defense of The Nation State, Social Capital, Bilingualism andothers. An excellent and intelligentstudy of modern society. -Jewish Media Review

“In this environment, it is an imperativethat we honor Rabbi Sacks’ message. The Home We Build Together is thus anessential read for all of us, and I commend Rabbi Sacks for writing it.” —SephardicHeritage Update

From the Back Cover

"Multiculturalism has run its course and it is time to move on." So begins Jonathan Sacks' new book on the future of British society and the dangers facing liberal democracy.

Arguing that global communications have fragmented national cultures and that multiculturalism, intended to reduce social frictions, is today reinforcing them, Sacks argues for a new approach to national identity. We cannot stay with current policies that are producing a society of conflicting ghettoes and non-intersecting lives, turning religious bodies into pressure groups rather than society-building forces.

Sacks maintains that we will have to construct a national narrative as a basis for identity, reinvigorate the concept of the common good, and identify shared interests among currently conflicting groups. It must restore a culture of civility, protect "neutral spaces" from politicization, and find ways of moving beyond an adversarial culture in which the loudest voice wins. He proposes a responsibility-based, rather than rights-based, model of citizenship that connects the ideas of giving and belonging.

Offering a new paradigm to replace previous models of assimilation on the one hand, multiculturalism on the other, he argues that we should see society as "the home we build together," bringing the distinctive gifts of different goups to society as a whole, and not only to our particular subsection of it.

Sacks warns of the hazards free and open societies face in the twenty-first century, and offers an unusual religious defense of liberal democracy and the nation state. A counterweight to his earlier The Dignity of Difference, Sacks makes the case for "integrated diversity" within a framework of shared political views.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum; First Edition edition (January 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826480705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826480705
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,244,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has been Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth since September 1, 1991, the sixth incumbent since 1845.

In July 2009, appointed to the House of Lords as a cross-bencher.

Prior to becoming Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Sacks served as Principal of Jews' College, London, the world's oldest rabbinical seminary, as well as rabbi of the Golders Green and Marble Arch synagogues in London. He gained rabbinic ordination from Jews' College and London's Yeshiva Etz Chaim.

His secular academic career has also been a distinguished one. Educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he obtained first class honours in Philosophy, he pursued postgraduate studies at New College, Oxford, and King's College, London. Sir Jonathan has been Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Essex, Sherman Lecturer at Manchester University, Riddell Lecturer at Newcastle University, Cook Lecturer at the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh and St. Andrews and Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is currently Visiting Professor of Theology at Kings' College London. He holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Bar Ilan, Cambridge, Glasgow, Haifa, Middlesex, Yeshiva University New York, University of Liverpool, St. Andrews University and Leeds Metropolitan University, and is an honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and King's College London. In September 2001, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred on him a Doctorate of Divinity in recognition of his first ten years in the Chief Rabbinate.

At his installation as Chief Rabbi in 1991, Dr Sacks set out his vision of a reinvigorated Anglo-Jewry and launched it with a Decade of Jewish Renewal, followed by a series of innovative communal projects. These included Jewish Continuity (a national foundation funding programmes in Jewish education and outreach), the Association of Jewish Business Ethics, the Chief Rabbinate Awards for Excellence, the Chief Rabbinate Bursaries, and Community Development, a national programme to enhance Jewish community life. In 1995, he received the Jerusalem Prize for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life. In September 2001 the Chief Rabbi began his second decade of office with a call to Jewish Responsibility and a renewed commitment to the ethical dimension of Judaism. He was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2005. A notably gifted communicator, the Chief Rabbi is a frequent contributor to radio, television and the national press. He frequently delivers BBC RADIO 4's THOUGHT FOR THE DAY, writes a monthly CREDO column for THE TIMES and delivers an annual Rosh Hashanah message on BBC 2. In 1990 he was invited by the BBC Board of Governors to deliver the annual Reith Lectures on the subject of THE PERSISTENCE OF FAITH.

The Dignity of Difference was awarded the 2004 Grawemeyer Prize for Religion, and A Letter in the Scroll a National Jewish Book Award 2002.

Born in 1948 in London, he has been married to Elaine since 1970. They have three children, Joshua, Dina and Gila and three grandchildren.

Publications:

Tradition in an Untraditional Age (1990)
Persistence of Faith (1991)
Arguments for the Sake of Heaven (1991)
Crisis and Covenant (1992)
One People? (1993)
Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? (1994)
Community of Faith (1995)
Faith in the Future (1998)
The Politics of Hope (1997)
Morals and Markets (1999)
Celebrating Life (2000)
Radical Then, Radical Now (2001)
The Dignity of Difference (2002)
The Chief Rabbi's Haggadah (2003)
From Optimism to Hope (2004)
To Heal a Fractured World (2005)
The Authorised Daily Prayer Book: new translation and commentary (2006)
The Home We Build Together (2007)
Future Tense (2009)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on December 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
England's most influential Jewish leader has crafted a wonderful critique of multi-culturalism and argued for erecting a new conccept of identity in its place. He argues that multi-culturalism has fragmented society and although the ideas behind it were noble the outcome has been brutal. Instead we need a new society that will emphasize heritage withotu causing hate and identity politics and will recreate religion outside politics.
A very interesting and pursuasive text that is worth reading and has wide ramifications for countries outside the UK.
Seth J. Frantzman
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Bob Roberts, Jr. on March 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I cannot recommend this book enough. As pastor of a church, I've pushed my members to read it, young pastors to read it, people of different faiths that I work with around the world. The ideas presented are a way forward for our future. The concept of "side-by-side" sweating and engagement is the only way we will ever survive the polarization of society. If you've read my book Glocalization - you will love this - read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BradB on November 23, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I certainly agree with Sack's description of the malaise and multiple problems in England (which I see as a corollary to the problems in the USA)--and how both of our countries got to this place. He claims that the trends in both countries towards "valuing" individual and ethnic identities (Multiculturalism) has not strengthened our mutual nations. It has, instead, weakened our national identities (our "home") and turned us into a "hotel" with individual groups housed in independent and intolerant "rooms"--each seeking to further its own agenda. I see evidence of this every day in the news and in the dysfunctionality of our governments at all levels. As I was reading this book, I was dismayed to see a news blurb about how fewer and fewer schools require students to recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" to the American flag every day. What better example of loss of our national identity! Apparently, we are no longer the "melting pot" envisioned by our forefathers where all peoples were welcomed but were expected to become American in language, thought and action. Instead, we are now a "potpourri" of different flavors that will not mix. Likewise, he identifies several other trends which we all know are happening but refuse to actively address in our media, i.e., the "dumbing down" of America, the increasing lack of civility/courtesy towards others, the obscene influence of "big money" in our society and the growing trend of economic inequality - in short, the dissolution of the American dream. As a member of the "Boomer" generation, I certainly identify with his concerns.

But I think his overarching solution to these problems is unrealistic.
Read more ›
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