• 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 (289 ratings)

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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
  • Performance
    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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  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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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.

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History at this point, still important to social justice.

This book was written before A.I. and quantum technology were as real as they are today. Using the philosophy of this book to solve the political crisis and yellow press concerns of the moment to solve tomorrow’s cultural, educational, work force development, and the like, would be akin to trying to measure the speed of a turtle while traveling in an elevator at light speed.

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An excellent and insightful read

Valuable research into community through a lens of history, tradition, technology, and war. Definitely worth the read.

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Bias everywhere, watch out.

This still feels horribly outdated. Variables are brushed off with flimsy excuses and poor explanations of why they don’t apply?

Ex: Why does race, gender, age, income, etc. not apply in -this- situation? Why do we get the “my team handled this on the back-end” kind of nonsense?!

Why are we using the same metrics (like physical church attendance?) to measure community engagement and social capital over a century of technological advancements? This was hard to sit through and definitely doesn’t feel relevant for 2021.

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Great data and story

Mr. Putnam does a fascinating job at showing the trends in American society with regards civic engagement. Wish there were similar account on other countries and also that the book would be rewritten to also include the period 2000-2020