EP 435 Can America Come Together Again?

Here’s some history to draw you into this podcast.  America was at the heights of solidarity and common purposes for over half a century beginning in the early 1900’s through the 1960’s and then we began to split apart as a society, as we had in the late 19th century.  America’s past was divided and troubled, found ways of cooperating and progressing and has since fallen back to atomized beings living isolated lives.  Can we find in our history ways to come together again in bonds of cooperation and social trust?  It is anything but certain that we can break the ‘I-We’I cycle’ that esteemed political scientist, Robert D. Putnam describes in his new book ‘The Upswing’.  However, it sure is an enviable goal.  In what Putnam says will be his last book, he signed on a co-author, Shaylyn Romney Garrett, who is a scholar and social entrepreneur.  Not only are we at present ‘Bowling Alone’, the title of Putnam’s profoundly impact book of two decades ago, but we are seemingly throwing bowling balls at each other.  Against the backdrop of economic inequality, political partisanship, a lack of social capital and cultural narcissism, we have a long way back in order for social scientists like the two involved in this project to ever write a book declaring that the upswing has arrived.  Garrett joins us to provide an interesting framework as to how we got to where we are today and what we might be able to do to leave the valley of despair we find ourselves in.