Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life

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9780520205680: Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life

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. Attention has been focused on forms of social organization, be it civil society, democratic communitarianism, or associative democracy, that can humanize the market and the administrative state. In their new Introduction the authors relate the argument of their 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.

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Review:

Habits of the Heart is required reading for anyone who wants to understand how religion contributes to and detracts from America's common good. An instant classic upon publication in 1985, it was reissued in 1996 with a new introduction describing the book's continuing relevance for a time when the country's racial and class divisions are being continually healed and ripped open again by religious people. Habits of the Heart describes the social significance of faiths ranging from "Sheilaism" (practiced by a California nurse named Sheila) to conservative Christianity. It's thoroughly readable, theologically respectful, and academically irreproachable. --Michael Joseph Gross

From the Inside Flap:

"The contemporary benchmark from which to look back and look forward in the continuing inquiry about American character."—Daniel Bell

"One of the most penetrating examinations of American individualism I have seen. . . . I hope it will be read and debated for years."—Christopher Lasch, author of The Culture of Narcissism

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