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University of California Press
Habits of the Heart, With a New Preface: Individualism and Commitment in American Life / Edition 1

Habits of the Heart, With a New Preface: Individualism and Commitment in American Life / Edition 1

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520254190
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 09/17/2007
Edition description: First Edition, With a New Preface
Pages: 410
Sales rank: 255,833
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Updated Edition



1. The Pursuit of Happiness

2. Culture and Character: The Historical Conversation


3. Finding Oneself

4. Love of Marriage

5. Reaching Out

6. Individualism


7. Getting Involved

8. Citizenship

9. Religion

10. The National Society


11. Transforming american Culture

Appendix: Social Science as Public Philosophy




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Habits of the Heart, With a New Preface: Individualism and Commitment in American Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
landlover More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago