Alone in America: The Search for Companionship

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9780060155056: Alone in America: The Search for Companionship
From Library Journal:

According to Harayda, more than 60 million Americans are unmarried, separated, divorced, or widowed, and the number is likely to increase. The single state need not be a social liability, but many people make it so by "putting their lives on hold." They do not plan for the future, make major household purchases, or learn to cook because they are waiting for their life to begin when the perfect mate appears. Harayda concentrates not on how to find a partner, but on how to live happily without one. She stresses that singles need a network of friends (and family), and that they must work to create it. Also, there are advantages to being single. It is no excuse for not creating the fullest life possible. Drawing heavily on her own experience, and that of other successful singles, Harayda offers practical advice. Recommended. Bernikow concentrates on what people mean when they say they are lonely. She concludes that loneliness is "unabsorbed change": the adolescent, between childhood and adulthood; the newly divorced; the unemployed. Using extended interviews, she shows what loneliness means to different people, married and single, and when it typically occurs. A final chapter deals with organizations that can help. While this book is thoughtful and well-done, it does not shed any new light on a familiar subject, nor does it have any notes or bibliography. Margaret B. Allen, M.L.S., West Lebanon, N.H.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Alexis de Toqueville maintained that Americans are a people "locked in the solitude of their own hearts." For this study of what she terms an epidemic of loneliness, Bernikow (Among Women, etc.) traveled the country interviewing people of all kinds. Loneliness is fostered by a number of external factors: the increasing number of older people, who often reside far from their children; the choice made by many liberated women to live on their own; the prevalence of later marriages and frequent divorces. However, this perceptive, beautifully written book probes far deeper into the nature of loneliness. Loneliness, Bernikow asserts, is a social disease of disconnection, often at the root of addiction, teenage pregnancy and suicide. Portraying many different casesadolescents, widows, widowers, those who live alone, family groups, people at work and the unemployedshe vividly illustrates how all are subject to loneliness for different reasons, and how each copes in his or her own way. Joining a community of some sort, she suggests, many help to alleviate feelings of isolation. Author tour.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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