Reading Robert Putnam, _Our Kids_, together online

Robert Putnam, _Our Kids_Last week I mentioned wanting to read Robert Putnam’s new book, Our Kids (Simon & Schuster, 2015).  That’s because it’s an important, attention-winning new work, and because it bears closely on inequality and education issues I’ve been examining.

So let’s read the thing, together, online and/or offline.

Everyone interested should get a copy through whichever way you prefer.

Like the Second Machine Age reading, I’ll post here about each chapter, offering a summary of its contents plus some questions to chew over.   Folks can comment on each post.  We can also fling reflections across Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, other blogs, podcasts, and other social media, as we did in the Exploded Twitter Book Club.

Pacing: for simplicity’s sake let’s assume one week per chapter.  So far the prose is accessible and thoughtful, not a light read nor an especially dense one.  Each chapter is about 40 pages long.

There’s no pressure if it’s a bad time to read.  No need to feel bad if you can’t comment right now.  Please feel free to dip in and out based on your interests and schedule.  For my part I vow to prepare those summaries and questions, while keeping up with discussions.

Here’s a rough schedule, assuming a few days for people to find a print, ebook, or audiobook copy:

April 1: chapter 1, “The American Dream: Myths and Realities”

April 8: chapter 2, “Families”

April 15: chapter 3, “Parenting”

April 22: chapter 4, “Schooling”

April 29: chapter 5, “Community”

May 6: chapter 6, “What is to be Done?”

Will you join us?

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24 Responses to Reading Robert Putnam, _Our Kids_, together online

  1. ellenandjim says:

    I’ll read along …

  2. Joe Murphy says:

    Ordered on ILL; I might get a chapter read by the end of the week. Should we have a Twitter hashtag to follow?

  3. I’ll be following along and decided to pick up the hardcover copy. For some reason the idea of buying and reading a paper book has me more excited than I should be (it’s been a rather long time but reading books is a habit I’d like to get back into).

  4. I’d like to join the conversation as well…thanks for the opportunity.

  5. geekymom says:

    Alright, I’m in! I’m interested in comparing it to Excellent Sheep. I’m also in the middle of How We Learn.

  6. Sounds interesting! Will be along for the ride– MDM

  7. bboessen says:

    I’m in. Bowling Alone featured somewhat prominently in my diss, actually. Started this one this morning via Audible on my walk. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Robert Putnam, _Our Kids_, chapter 1 | Bryan Alexander

  9. Pingback: Reading Robert Putnam, _Our Kids_, chapter 3: “Parenting” | Bryan Alexander

  10. I’m joining in now that my interlibrary loan came in. I’ll chat as I read and catch up. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Reading Robert Putnam, _Our Kids_, chapter 4, “Schooling” | Bryan Alexander

  12. Pingback: Reading Robert Putnam’s _Our Kids, chapter 5, “Community” | Bryan Alexander

  13. Pingback: Concluding Robert Putnam’s _Our Kids_, asking “What is To Be Done?” | Bryan Alexander

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