If you believe Snapchat and Twitter have satisfied humanity’s need for community, then Bowling Alone’s not for you.
If, on the other hand, recent events have made you wonder how Americans can be so well connected and so bitterly divided, then you might want to have a look.
This book is not perfect. It doesn’t fully acknowledge the unpleasant truths about the social cohesion of the mid twentieth century; that it required women to sacrifice their aspirations, that the majority’s sense of “us” came at the expense of an oppressed “them”.
But it is fundamentally a hopeful book. Putnam wants us to understand that America need not dissolve into nothing more 100 million households eyeing each other suspiciously through HD security cams; that the future could be brighter.