Better Together: Restoring the American CommunityBetter Together: Restoring the American Community
Robert D. Putnam, Lewis M. Feldstein
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In Better Together, Putnam and longtime civic activist Lewis Feldstein describe some of the diverse locations and most compelling ways in which civic renewal is taking place today. In response to civic crises and local problems, they say, hardworking, committed people are reweaving the social fabric all across America, often in innovative ways that may turn out to be appropriate for the twenty-first century.
Better Together is a book of stories about people who are building communities to solve specific problems. The examples Putnam and Feldstein describe span the country from big cities such as Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago to the Los Angeles suburbs, small Mississippi and Wisconsin towns, and quiet rural areas. The projects range from the strictly local to that of the men and women of UPS, who cover the nation. This book takes us into Catherine Flannery's Roxbury, Massachusetts, living room, a UPS loading dock in Greensboro, North Carolina, a Philadelphia classroom, the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, naval shipyard, and a Bay Area Website.

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Chapter 1: Valley Interfaith

"The Most Dangerous Thing We Do Is Talk to Our Neighbors"

Chapter 2: Branch Libraries

The Heartbeat of the Community

Chapter 3: The Shipyard Project

Building Bridges with Dance

Chapter 4: The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative

Grass Roots in the City

Chapter 5: The Tupelo Model

Building Community First

Chapter 6: Saddleback Church

From Crowd to Congregation

Chapter 7: Do Something

Letting Young People Lead

Chapter 8: The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers

"The Whole Social Thing"

Chapter 9: Experience Corps

Bringing "Old Heads" to the Schools

Chapter 10: UPS

Diversity and Cohesion

Chapter 11:

Is Virtual Community Real?

Chapter 12: Portland

A Positive Epidemic of Civic Engagement

Conclusion: Making Social Capital Work