The Quest for Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom

Overview

One of the leading thinkers to emerge in the postwar conservative intellectual revival was the sociologist Robert Nisbet. His book The Quest for Community, published in 1953, stands as one of the most persuasive accounts of the dilemmas confronting modern society.

Nearly a half century before Robert Putnam documented the atomization of society in Bowling Alone, Nisbet argued that the rise of the powerful modern state had eroded the sources of community?the family, the ...

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Overview

One of the leading thinkers to emerge in the postwar conservative intellectual revival was the sociologist Robert Nisbet. His book The Quest for Community, published in 1953, stands as one of the most persuasive accounts of the dilemmas confronting modern society.

Nearly a half century before Robert Putnam documented the atomization of society in Bowling Alone, Nisbet argued that the rise of the powerful modern state had eroded the sources of community—the family, the neighborhood, the church, the guild. Alienation and loneliness inevitably resulted. But as the traditional ties that bind fell away, the human impulse toward community led people to turn even more to the government itself, allowing statism—even totalitarianism—to flourish.

ISI Books is proud to present this new edition of Nisbet’s magnum opus, featuring a brilliant introduction by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat and three critical essays. Published at a time when our communal life has only grown weaker and when many Americans display cultish enthusiasm for a charismatic president, this new edition of The Quest for Community shows that Nisbet’s insights are as relevant today as ever.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935191506
  • Publisher: ISI Books
  • Publication date: 9/14/2010
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Nisbet (1913–1996) was a professor at Columbia University and the author of The Sociological Tradition, The Social Bond, The Present Age, and other books.

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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Background Edition Ross Douthat Douthat, Ross

Preface to the First Edition

Preface to the 1970 edition

PART ONE COMMUNITY AND THE PROBLEM OF ORDER

1 The Loss of Community 1

2 The Image of Community 19

3 The Problem of Community 39

PART TWO THE STATE AND COMMUNITY

4 History as the Decline of Community 69

5 The State as Revolution 91

6 Sovereignty and Association 113

7 The Political Community 141

8 The Total Community 173

PART THREE COMMUNITY AND THE PROBLEM OF FREEDOM

9 The Problem of Liberalism 195

10 The Contexts of Individuality 207

11 The Contexts of Democracy 229

CONCLUSION 259

CRITICAL ESSAYS

The State and Fading Community John Carroll Carroll, John 263

Modernity's New World Dangers David Bosworth Bosworth, David 273

The Enduring Achievement and Unfinished Work of Robert Nisbet Jeanne Heffernan Schindler Schindler, Jeanne Heffernan 289

References and Notes 305

Index 321

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