Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett: How America Can Come Together Again
Twenty years ago, eminent Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam wrote the nonfiction book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. In it, he lamented the decline of in-person social discourse, which Americans used to enrich the fabric of our lives. He further went on to say that this decline undermined the civic engagement required in a strong democracy.
Professor Putnam's new book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again, coauthored by social entrepreneur Shaylyn Romney Garrett, comes at a time of deep and accelerating inequality, unprecedented political polarization, vitriolic public discourse and a fraying social fabric. In a sweeping overview of more than a century of history, drawing on a combination of statistical analysis and storytelling, Putnam and Garrett analyze a remarkable confluence of trends that brought us from an “I” society to a “we” society and then back again. They draw inspiring lessons for our time from an earlier era, when a dedicated group of reformers righted the ship, putting us on a path to becoming a society once again based on community.
Come for an important conversation that provides optimism in these challenging times.
Copies of The Upswing are available for purchase at checkout (U.S. domestic shipping only)
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Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy, Harvard University; Co-Author, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again; Twitter @RobertDPutnam
Shaylyn Romney Garrett
Social Entrepreneur; Co-Author, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again; Twitter @shaylynromney
In Conversation with David Kennedy
Donald J. McLachlan Professor Emeritus of History, Stanford University