• Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated

  • The Collapse and Revival of American Community
  • By: Robert D. Putnam
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 18 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (330 ratings)

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Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated  By  cover art

Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated

By: Robert D. Putnam
Narrated by: Arthur Morey
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Publisher's Summary

Once we bowled in leagues, usually after work - but no longer. This seemingly small phenomenon symbolizes a significant social change that Robert Putnam has identified in this brilliant volume, which The Economist hailed as "a prodigious achievement".

Drawing on vast new data that reveal Americans' changing behavior, Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures - whether they be PTA, church, or political parties - have disintegrated. Until the publication of this groundbreaking work, no one had so deftly diagnosed the harm that these broken bonds have wreaked on our physical and civic health, nor had anyone exalted their fundamental power in creating a society that is happy, healthy, and safe.

Like defining works from the past, such as The Lonely Crowd and The Affluent Society, and like the works of C. Wright Mills and Betty Friedan, Putnam's Bowling Alone has identified a central crisis at the heart of our society and suggests what we can do.

©2000 Robert D. Putnam. All rights reserved. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Bowling Alone: Revised and Updated

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Long Long book

I listened to this book which seemed to go on for months. When the narrator is going over facts and stats endless it is just hard to grasp everything.

The whole book boils down to we are no longer a social society in any way. Bowling used to be part of the fabric of each and every community. You went bowling to see friends each week, to make new friends and business contacts. Now everyone just goes online or text.

The author throws out stats after stats showing of the decline in various organization over the last 50 years, and how this decline is an overview of the effects on bowling. I have been in bowling industry for 20 plus years now and there have been numerous factors for the collapse of league bowling. This book gave more incite into some of those factors that I wouldn't have thought about.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

He says everything seven times

I was amazed how dry this was even for a policy book. It's probably the most important subject in the English-speaking world, and it manages to come out boring with how aggressive Putnam is with the facts. They just don't stop. Constant reiterations on how nobody goes to community things anymore and how democracy is mortally crippled and how severely Boomers, as a cohort, suck the big one.

I would like to see some updated analysis on the effects of the internet, it was naturally handled lightly given that this book came out when the Lone Gunmen were pirating cable.

If you want the long version, listen to this book and despair; If you want the short:

SPOILERS


People aren't involved in clubs, communities, and friendships at nearly the rate they were before the 60's, and Putnam
attributes like 90% of the cause to television and 10% to feminism.

Also, I can't remember a single thing he might have said about revival. All suggestions seemed naive and doomed to failure

5 people found this helpful

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Enlightening, but Dry

Expert analysis of the reduction of social capital, but very dry. Still a classic work.

4 people found this helpful

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Meh

Famous book but somewhat of a let down. A lot of questionably gathered/sourced/analyzed statistics and trying to raise more questions and doubts than really get at answers. Very repetitive structure too in how the book is written/presents.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DV
  • 11-13-19

Could be good, but data dumping ruins it.

Way too much data that is not necessary to get a point across. narrator a bit dull also.

1 person found this helpful

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amazing research and well-written

bowling alone tells the story of how America has lost its group nature. going through a hundred years of research and Analysis this book thoroughly explains some key reasons American society is in the decline.

1 person found this helpful

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heartbreaking

Every negative trend he identified 20 years ago got much worse. Any positive signs turned out to be Pollyannaisms.

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if you like social capital stats, you will like

if you like stats on social capital, you will like this book. it gets a bit repetitive towards the end

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Data rich but a chore to read

This book was recommended to as research for a book I am writing on community. It is considered a “Best Seller” but it left a lot to be desired.

This is a data rich book and it can be very dull at times. I stop and started many times. My main criticism of the book is, too much of the book’s argument rests on the decline of “traditional”, “conventional” "community organizations" of a previous era (like The Lion's Club, the Elks or the Masons).

Basically throughout the twentieth century, Americans were participating in clubs, having dinner parties, going to church, volunteering, working on political campaigns--until the 1970s. Then, this steady increase in partipation became a sharp drop, and civic life continues to decline. Various things could have caused the decline, but the two main things are television and generational differences.

The books alarmist view does not take into account the new communities exists like Zoom Happy Hours, multiplayer gaming, various discussion forums, YouTube communities (and endless other examples).

It was probably more meaningful when it was published but not as relevant to the modern reader. There are some good data points but a good book summary is a better option.

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Things sure didn't go as he hoped

Putnam sets various goals for America coming together and being more civic minded. instead, we have been torn very much more apart.