“At a time when polarization is weakening our democracy, Eric Klinenberg takes us on a tour of the physical spaces that bind us together and form the basis of civic life. We care about each other because we bump up against one another in a community garden or on the playground or at the library. These are not virtual experiences; they’re real ones, and they’re essential to our future. This wonderful book shows us how democracies thrive.”
—Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, authors of How Democracies Die
Prior to Eric's presentation, learn about the year's developments from Kevin Gasvoda, President of the Board. Election of officers and new trustee nominations for the 2018-19 year will be held.
A reception and book signing to follow. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Barrett Bookstore.
About the Book
Public institutions such as libraries, schools, playgrounds, parks, athletic fields, and swimming pools are all vital parts of social infrastructure. So are churches and synagogues, flea markets, and corner diners. Places where people can gather and linger encourage the formation of social bonds and promote interaction across group lines. And if our democracy is going to thrive, we need more of them. Investing in social infrastructure is just as urgent as investing in conventional hard infrastructure such as bridges, levees, and airports. Often, we can strengthen both simultaneously, establishing vital social arteries that are also “palaces for the people,” to borrow the phrase Andrew Carnegie used to describe the 2,800 grand libraries that he built around the world.
About the Author
Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology and the director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He’s the coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestseller Modern Romance. Klinenberg’s previous books include Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media. In addition to his books and scholarly articles, Klinenberg has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Wired, and This American Life.