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In the Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Lovenheim's In The Neighborhood is A Must Read for Anyone Who Lives in a Neighborhood

    I loved reading In the Neighborhood. In fact, I could not put it down. I began the book on a Sunday morning, read it on and off until 11 that night, had foot surgery early on Monday morning, and despite the painkillers, had to finish it by Tuesday night. In the past, only Grisham would have held my attention in this manner but now I have to add Lovenheim to the list.

    This book is a compelling narrative as to how we tend to live today. I am sad to say that I live in a nice neighborhood but only know the neighbor on the right. I don't know the other neighbors. By contrast, growing up on a very modest street in my hometown with most of the houses no larger than 900-1200 square feet, Mandy Lane felt like a family. We played everyday with our best friends who lived next door or just down the block, we picnicked and swam together, the adults went out socially or spent time in each other's houses, the fathers took turns mowing the lawn in the cul-de-sac, the mothers had a gratis babysitting club in which they traded hours so the kids could always be left with moms they knew, and at dusk, with the parents sitting out on the front porches watching, talking, and maybe having a beer as we kids went up and down the street on our bikes, it was bliss. Sometimes we misbehaved and the infractions were not missed by our own parents or others who had no problem pointing out our flaws. But it was all done with good intentions and I wish now that our kids knew what it was like to live in a such safe and caring community.

    After reading this book, I am moved to do three things: First, I am going to organize a small gathering of immediate neighbors to get to know them, second, I am going to try and urge developers to start thinking about bringing back front porches, and third, I am going to recommend this book to all of my friends and family, including those on Facebook and LinkedIn. Life is too short to remain in this type of self-absorbed shell we've constructed for ourselves over the past 20 years or so. I think Peter Lovenheim has wittingly or unwittingly started a social revolution of the finest order.

    His book is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 2, 2011

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    Posted March 12, 2011

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