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Forum: Readers' Nook


book recommendation

Created on: 11/23/20 05:43 AM Views: 490 Replies: 2
book recommendation
Posted Monday, November 23, 2020 05:43 AM

We all reached our majority in the most pivotal decade of the 20th century. We spent our high school and -- for many/most -- college years in the 1960s. According to an excellent new book titled The Upswing by Robert Putnam, that sliver of time changed the course of American history down to the present. While this may sound familiar -- the 60s as a turning point is old hat for many historians -- it's not. Putnam shows in dozens of ways that almost every trend of political, economic, societal, and cultural life had been on an "upward" path since early in the twentieth century AND that since 1970, every one of these trends has been "downward". This "U curve" has brought us to our current highly divided, partisan-ridden state. From being a more egalitarian, inclusive, less racist and sexist nation we have become, increasingly, closer to the opposite. Putnam, author of a famous study of "social capital" titled Bowling Alone, offers some hope and concrete suggestions on how we -- individually and working together -- might reverse these trends.

The book is full of great charts and detailed analysis plus fine narrative and terrific insights. The exposition is clear, concise, and very readable. I highly recommend it to everyone interested in where we've been and where we are (or might be) heading.

RE: book recommendation
Posted Monday, February 8, 2021 03:08 PM

Thanks for that interesting suggestion, I will definitely get and formulate a reply. My own take is that the BCP combined with a war that split generations of youth who were in the right against entrenched elders who were rather timidly even cowardly wrong combined with drugs, loose intermingling of people, an expanded world view were rather biblical with a naivity worthy of Adam and Eve.

People like Carl Djerassi [ersatz Father of the Pill, as it were) leading the charge of enlightenment, then his daughter commits suicide...

But I will get Putnam's book, I really enjoy history, and  especially so when it is biographraphical.

By the way, The South Bay Writers Club, a branch of the CWC, the Calif Writers Club, meets by Zoom this evening and once a month. See: and they are on Facebook as well...

Randy (Colin) Spears

RE: book recommendation
Posted Monday, February 8, 2021 03:43 PM


Thanks for the response.  I'll look up the list of coming events on their website.

Cheers, Steve