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Better Together: Restoring the American Community


Better Together: Restoring the American Community Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his acclaimed Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam describes the United States as a nation in which we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and in which our social structures have disintegrated. But in the final chapter of that book he detects hopeful signs of civic renewal. In Better Together Putnam and coauthor Lewis Feldstein tell the inspiring stories of people who are reweaving the social fabric by bringing their own communities together or building bridges to others.

Better Together examines how people across the country are inventing new forms of social activism and community renewal. An arts program in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, brings together shipyard workers and their gentrified neighbors; a deteriorating, crime-ridden neighborhood in Boston is transformed by a determined group of civic organizers; an online "virtual" community in San Francisco allows its members to connect with each other as well as the larger group; in Wisconsin schoolchildren learn how to participate in the political process to benefit their town. As our society grows increasingly diverse, say Putnam and Feldstein, it's more important than ever to grow "social capital," whether by traditional or more innovative means. The people profiled in Better Together are doing just that, and their stories illustrate the extraordinary power of social networks for enabling people to improve their lives and the lives of those around them.

About the Author

Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. Nationally honored as a leading humanist and a renowned scientist, he has written fourteen books and has consulted for the last four US Presidents. His research program, the Saguaro Seminar, is dedicated to fostering civic engagement in America.Lewis M. Feldstein is president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Feldstein cochaired the Saguaro Seminar, worked with the civil rights movement in Mississippi, was a senior staff member for former New York City mayor John V. Lindsay, and was formerly provost of the Antioch/New England Graduate School. He lives in Hancock, New Hampshire.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1

Valley Interfaith: "The Most Dangerous Thing We Do Is Talk to Our Neighbors."

Chapter 2

Branch Libraries: The Heartbeat of the Community

Chapter 3

The Shipyard Project: Building Bridges with Dance

Chapter 4

The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative: Grass roots in the City

Chapter 5

The Tupelo Model: Building Community First

Chapter 6

Saddleback Church: From Crowd to Congregation

Chapter 7

Do Something: Letting Young People Lead

Chapter 8

The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers: "The Whole Social Thing"

Chapter 9

Experience Corps: Bringing "Old Heads" to the Schools

Chapter 10

UPS: Diversity and Cohesion

Chapter 11 Is Virtual Community Real?

Chapter 12

Portland: A Positive Epidemic of Civic Engagement

Conclusion: Making Social Capital Work


Index 307

Product Details

Cohen, Don
Simon & Schuster
Cohen, Don
Feldstein, Lewis M.
Cohen, Donald J.
Feldstein, Lewis
Putnam, Robert D.
Sociology - General
Anthropology - Cultural
Social history
Social classes
General Social Science
United States - 20th Century (1945 to 2000)
World History-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.25 x 6.12 in 12.53 oz

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Self Esteem
History and Social Science » American Studies » 80s to Present
History and Social Science » American Studies » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
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History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

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