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

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First published in 1985, Habits of the Heart continues to be one of the most discussed interpretations of modern American society, a quest for a democratic community that draws on our diverse civic and religious traditions.
In a new preface the authors relate the arguments of the book both to the current realities of American society and to the growing debate about the country's future. With this new edition one of the most influential books of recent times takes on a new immediacy.

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: 348,845
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Recipient of the National Humanities Medal, Robert N. Bellah is Elliott Professor of Sociology Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley. Richard Madsen is Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego. William M. Sullivan is Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Ann Swidler is Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley. Steven M. Tipton is Professor of Sociology and Religion at Emory University and the Candler School of Theology.

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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 )
Rating Distribution

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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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