Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life / Edition 3

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Habits of the Heart, first published in 1985, rapidly became one of the most widely discussed interpretations of American society in the twentieth century, joining a small body of pivotal studies such as Middletown and The Lonely Crowd. Much of what Habits described, and which resonated so widely in the public consciousness, is even more evident ten years later. Meanwhile, the authors' antidote to the American sickness - a quest for democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions - has contributed to a vigorous scholarly and popular debate. In their new introduction, the authors relate the argument of their book to both the current realities of American society and the growing debate about the country's future.

Explores the traditions Americans use to make sense of themselves and their soceity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520254190
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 9/17/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition, With a New Preface
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 410
  • Sales rank: 363,857
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert N. Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, and the author of several books, including The New Religious Consciousness (with Charles Y. Glock) (1975). Richard Madsen is Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego; his most recent book is China and the American Dream (California, 1995). William M. Sullivan is Professor of Philosophy, LaSalle University, Philadelphia; his most recent book is Work and
Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America
(1994). Ann Swidler is Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Organization Without Authority: Dilemmas of Social Control in Free Schools (1980). Steven M. Tipton is Professor, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and author of Getting Saved from the Sixties: Moral Meaning in Conversion and Cultural Change (California, 1982). The authors also collaborated on the writing of The Good Society (1991).

In 2000, Robert Bellah was one of twelve recipients of the National Humanities Medal

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Updated Edition
1 The Pursuit of Happiness 3
2 Culture and Character: The Historical Conversation 27
3 Finding Oneself 55
4 Love and Marriage 85
5 Reaching Out 113
6 Individualism 142
7 Getting Involved 167
8 Citizenship 196
9 Religion 219
10 The National Society 250
11 Transforming American Culture 275
Appendix: Social Science as Public Philosophy 297
Notes 309
Glossary 333
Index 337
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 21, 2012

    Must read book for today's issues!

    American individualism runs back to the beginning of our country, but so does a sense of the common good. Bellah shows us our heritage, and the historical traditions which exist to fix what ails us today. It is a book we NEED to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2007

    An Academically deep understanding of the American Character.

    There is much for all Americans to learn from this book, which takes its rightful place along side other classic studies of the American character, the most famous of which, 'Democracy in America' 'Alesis de Tocqueville, 1835' they honor in the book's title. As highly as I rate this book, and I do believe every thoughtful American 'including those who are 'new' Americans should read this book', I was disappointed in the author's recommendations for curing our national malaise. de Tocqueville's phrase, 'Habits of the Heart', might loosely be translated as 'ties that bind', referring to those mores and practices common to a people that make a society more than just the sum of its individuals and promote a spirit of concern in each that speaks to the common good of all. The authors suggest, as antidotes for our national malaise, institutional changes engineered by a professional elite that would reinvigorate some of our older virtues that made life worth living and contributed to a shared feeling of a common good. If history can teach us anything, it is that the past is never returned to. Even more than this, de Tocqueville¿s phrase, ¿Habits of the Heart¿, which at first may seem an unusual way to refer to mores and common practices a society shares, is really the insight that those things that bind individuals together as a people and a society, must come from the heart. If we are to find a cure for our national malaise, it must come from the people, from the spirit of idealism that has always been part of the American character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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