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on February 16, 2018
This is a worthwhile read. I bought 4 used copies to loan/give to local leaders in my church.

Chapters 1 through 10 describe the problem. But if you're over 40, you likely already know how our society has substituted real relationships with virtual/online/pre-programmed/scripted relationships, or in other words, destroyed real relationships.

Chapter 11 describes what some people are doing to solve this, but only in general terms. Not really a "how-to" but it can get you started.

Chapter 12 describes what some companies are doing to solve this. Again, no nitty-gritty "how to" but enough to point you in a good direction.

Chapter 13 has wonderful lofty ideas, touchy-feely buzz-words and buzz-phrases that could mean lots of different things, depending on how you parse them, and where your imagination takes you, but again, no basic level "how-to." However, from a planning and strategic level, this chapter is the meat of the book. This chapter contains the over-arching principles of building relationships. This chapter makes the whole book worthwhile. If you want to give this book to executives who are too busy to read books, aske them to just read this chapter.

So to read this book, I recommend skimming chapters 1 through 10, then detail-reading chapters 11 - 13. If you're pressed for time, go right to chapter 13.

My take-away is that Hall really knows what he's talking about. It's no wonder he can employ 200 full-time consultants teaching businesses and organizations how to re-connect people.

But he doesn't actually teach you "how to" in this book, except in over-arching generalities..., just enough to make you want to hire his company to teach/show you how to do it in your situation. Now, maybe it really is that complicated, such that details can't be laid out in a finite book.

If you can afford to hire his company to consult with your organization, great. I bet he's worth it, based on the understanding he shows in this book.

If you want actual books of "how to" about creating and maintaining real human relationships I would recommend:

Stephen Covey, start with his "Spiritual Roots of Human Relations", then his others. Part way into Land of Strangers, you'll realize Hall is writing from a faith-based perspective, just like Covey. But in the arena of human interaction, faith and psychology intersect.

Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People".

Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Posiive Thinking", very how-to. (It's interesting that the kinds of people who got us into the current social mess don't like this book.)

The Old Testament book of Proverbs.

The New Testament Sermon on the Mount and beatitudes.

So, BOTTOM LINE: Yes, it is worth $6.50 (used, incl shipping), even for chapters 11, 12, 13 alone. It won't immediately solve your organizational/family problems, but will get you started in the right direction.
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on February 2, 2014
Hall not only points out succinctly and clearly the desperate need we have for rebuilding, retaining and growing relationships in our very fractured society, he gives a practical overview of how it's done. His stories - both personal and other - drive home the point that we have to once again become a society that fosters and promotes relationships within our communities and, of course, our homes, religious organizations and work environments and the consequences of not doing so. It is thought-provoking and very timely considering the direction our government is currently moving. This book is for anyone in a relationship or who deals with relationships - I believe that's all of us.
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on November 7, 2013
Interesting book. Thought-provoking commentary. A bit on the "preachy" side at times-but not overbearing. Would consider using it in a college level course.
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on December 9, 2012
Isolation and loneliness is running rampant these days and this book helps us understand why and why we must find ways to reconnect.
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on March 28, 2013
Robert Hall lays out a brilliant assessment of the issues facing people across all of our key institutions, and traces it to a breakdown in relationship. Very compelling! I really appreciated his description of the "relational leader" and how he drew in the Conscious Capitalism model for business!
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on July 17, 2012
You hear so much from the left from the right from the middle - and they often are in conflict with each other. It seems the goal of all is to help but the way that help is delivered is vastly different.

This book challenges your thinking about how we as a society have grown and what we have lost without even realizing it.

Everyone should read this book.
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on May 28, 2012
Robert Hall has hit the nail on the head with this new book. Almost every page includes thought provoking insights into our relationships at home, in our communities and the corporate world. Robert gets to the very heart of "the elephant in the room" we encounter in all of our relationships. While Robert gives the reader permission to skip the statistical data, he uses the data to reinforce anicdotal examples the reader just can't deny. This book is a must-read for everyone. You will clearly understand the CRISIS just a few pages into the book. Although the author cleverly identifies a major crisis which spans societal and generational relationships at "Home, Work, Politics, and Faith", he doesn't stop there. He has included logical assertions to help us fix this self-generated relationship mess. I'm buying several as gifts!
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on November 30, 2012
I haven't finished and if my opinion changes once I do I will write an additional comment but thus far, I'm bored and not impressed.
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on June 18, 2016
Excellent look at relationships.
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If you ever catch a rerun of a 50's sitcom, you will notice how the neighbors are not strangers, kids do not argue at their parents, and the families sit around the dinner table talking about their day. Today's kids would just laugh at the old sitcoms, probably referring to them as `unrealistic.' When the truth is that today's families have lost touch with what real relationships are.

Author Robert Hall has written a clever, funny, and realistic book titled "This Land of Strangers" that touches on the subject about the relationships in our lives. From our families, neighbors, classmates, co-workers, fellow church members, to the stranger sitting next to you on the subway, Robert writes about how our relationships is threatening our society.

The author introduces the `crises" within the first few pages, which is a little haunting as I realized how families are falling apart; customers and employees are looking their trusts in business; and how political and religious views are distancing us more apart. The author uses interesting stories, an entertaining narrative and `real' facts to address the overlooked issue in your society. This Land of Strangers is a necessary read!

*I would like to thank Greenleaf Book Group for sending me a copy to review.
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