Better Together

Restoring the American Community

The author of the bestseller Bowling Alone and a colleague offer readers inspirational tales about the successful building of social capital. A review of this book is available.

318 pages. ©2003.
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Reader Reviews for this Book

Brenda Bailey

Review posted January 11, 2018

1

I hadn't read Bowling Alone, and I admit I had a hard time becoming interested. Only until flipping thru did I come across the chapter on Portland, Oregon. So now I had something I could personalize with. As a result I went back picking thru chapters, reading what seemed interesting to find I read the whole book except one chapter. So for whatever thats worth that's my review. I can't really comment on how useful the information is for implication just knowledge.

CynthiaSpencer

Review posted December 26, 2017

4

Reading success stories is always inspiring. "Better Together" shares how each organization or group succeeded, highlighting specific obstacles and the steps taken to overcome them and build social capital along the way. Since it is a little now over a decade since publication, it was also great discovering that some of this work has continued. Had not read "Bowling Alone" before this, but will now look for it.

AmyRoseWoot

Review posted November 22, 2017

5

Great author

sroe

Review posted October 15, 2017

5

I always enjoy Robert Putnam books. They make me think.

lindseyjosmith

Review posted May 15, 2017

4

As a follow-up to Bowling Alone, people are rightly comparing the two. I have not yet read Bowling Alone, so I read Better Together as a stand-alone book. It was extremely encouraging! There are so many opportunities for nonprofits, businesses, schools, faith communities, and different age groups to collaborate in order to improve the world around us. I would definitely recommend this book.

JoeMartin

Review posted April 14, 2017

3

Thought it could have had less meaningless details and more examples.

[email protected]

Review posted March 29, 2017

3

Better Together is a great follow up to Bowling Alone. It demonstrates that relationships and common interests are still important in strengthening communities. Those relationships just develop in different ways then they used to. I appreciate Putnam’s use of specific examples and how he leaves it to the readers to determine what could be applied to their situations.

Henry

Review posted January 21, 2017

4

When I started reading this book I wasn't impressed until I got to page 105. When I got to page 105 I learned about one man making a difference and started taking notes. Taking notes I read the rest of the book which then impelled me to go back with a different attitude and read the first 104 pages. I can't use all that I learned in this book, but what I can use will be useful to help our community live better together.

Dlmorrow

Review posted January 13, 2017

4

Really good book on community mobilizing. It's not an A-Z how-to per se but more of real life community stories. Each story started with the 'why' and then worked toward solutions. Lots of gold gems in each chapter. I was able to 'see' strategies/solutions for my own community in the chapters. Easy to read; smooth writing style.. Very well done!

[email protected]

Review posted May 25, 2016

4

I have really enjoyed this one. It is one thing to talk about the mechanics of community action, but clearly another thing to read story's about how others have actually accomplished positive change. Need a good balance I guess of both categories. Thanks for the book.

lguliasi

Review posted April 6, 2016

5

This book provided some great case studies related to community development. I liked reading about projects that I have studied before or have heard about. I will definitely use some of this in my community development work!

jorjiepacific

Review posted March 27, 2016

5

This collection of case studies explores how social capital is created, common themes, and potential guidelines for establishing relationships through trust and reciprocity. Building social capital is a labor-intensive process, requiring time to develop relationships in which people find their commonalities through the telling and the listening to of personal experiences. Social connectedness is the by-product of working toward a common goal. The more people interact and in various contexts, the stronger the sense of reciprocity and empathy. Success is thus built on shared endeavors, and reconstruction of interests toward a shared goal. These stories provide examples of how civic leaders and community activists can challenge the way community goals are met, leading to social and economic transformations built on the desires of the community itself.

Edie Reid

Review posted March 6, 2016

5

Putnam and Feldstein have collected successes in many different regions of the USA. Chapter 12 focuses on Portland, Oregon and how the citizens worked together to change the area of harbor freeway into the current Tom McCall Waterfront Park. In Waupen Wisconsin The Do Something organization is a youth center organization that focuses on projects of interest to those involved. By engaging youth in a political process, it builds their citizenship skills that will continue into their adult years. They state that "the only way to learn to participate is to participate; the only way to become a leader is to lead. (p. 164)

sderht

Review posted February 1, 2016

5

Great follow up to Bowling Alone. This book includes some great examples of social capital in action. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Portland, OR!

RoseRobin

Review posted January 28, 2016

4

This book is an exciting follow up to Putnam's Pivotal Bowling Alone. I am enjoying it very much.

smischke

Review posted January 9, 2016

4

This is a great book! Lots of wonderful stories on building stronger communities. I am going to use these lessons in the future in my organization.

Csmalling70

Review posted December 17, 2015

5

Such a well done book. The Author takes the time to not only point out some sobering realities of our culture and society but also provides us with some ways to turn things around and help build community where ever you may be.

Browncoat

Review posted December 16, 2015

5

This is the book that I have been looking for! I understand the decline of our sense of community, and I have been looking for direction. How do I get something started? How do I capture that sense of belonging? Great read.

tracie.stone

Review posted December 16, 2015

4

Good read- interesting perspectives and case studies on important public health topics. It gives me hope that these concepts are being more widely accepted and working together towards common goals will get us further than working alone.

Sandi Richard'

Review posted November 9, 2015

4

This book effectively uses stories to inspire community members to achieve great things. Each chapter tells a different story about how a community need was met when people got together and started to really listen to each other. Much of the book emphasizes the importance of growing social capital, developing effective social networks which then enable people to renew their communities and thereby improve their own lives.

kplaza

Review posted October 14, 2015

3

This was essentially a sequel to "Bowling Alone," discussing the importance of building social capital within small community groups and collaborating with larger groups that share common interests. "Face-to-Face" interaction is emphasized in this time of ever increasing social media replacing actual relationships between individuals.

rlottis

Review posted June 28, 2015

4

living in a small community, this really was a great read for me. Thank you

sam.engel

Review posted April 28, 2015

4

A good follow up to "Bowling Alone." It has poignant stories and case studies that each chapter follows leading the reader to connect to the issues covered in each chapter.