The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again (A FAN Program)

We are so happy to support Family Action Network as they welcome Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett, co-authors of the new book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again. Mr. Putnam and Ms. Romney Garrett will be interviewed by Spiro Bolos, educator at New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL. This virtual event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Click HERE to reserve your spot!

This event will be recorded and available later on the FAN website and YouTube channel.

AFTER-HOURS EVENT: Attendees who purchase a copy of The Upswing from The Book Stall are invited to attend an AFTER-HOURS event hosted by Mr. Putnam, Ms. Romney Garrett, and Mr. Bolos that will start immediately after the webinar. The link to register for the AFTER-HOURS program will appear in red font at the top of an email from The Book Stall. Look for it right after your receipt arrives!

About the Book: In a sweeping overview of more than a century of history, drawing on his inimitable combination of statistical analysis and storytelling, Robert Putnam, with Shaylyn Romney Garrett, analyzes a remarkable confluence of trends that brought us from an “I” society to a “We” society and then back again. He draws inspiring lessons for our time from an earlier era, when a dedicated group of reformers righted the ship, putting us on a path to becoming a society based on community. Engaging, revelatory, and timely, this is Putnam’s most ambitious work yet, a fitting capstone to a brilliant career.

Deep and accelerating inequality; unprecedented political polarization; vitriolic public discourse; a fraying social fabric; public and private narcissism—Americans today seem to agree on only one thing: This is the worst of times.

But we’ve been here before. During the Gilded Age of the late 1800s, America was highly individualistic, starkly unequal, fiercely polarized, and deeply fragmented, just as it is today. However, as the twentieth century opened, America became—slowly, unevenly, but steadily—more egalitarian, more cooperative, more generous; a society on the upswing, more focused on our responsibilities to one another and less focused on our narrower self-interest. Sometime during the 1960s, however, these trends reversed, leaving us in today’s disarray.

About the Authors:  Robert Putnam is the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, having retired from active teaching in May 2018. Raised in a small town in Ohio, he was educated at Swarthmore, Oxford, and Yale. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006 Putnam received the Skytte Prize, the world’s highest accolade for a political scientist, in 2013 President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities, for “deepening our understanding of community in America,” and in 2018 the International Political Science Association awarded him the Karl Deutsch Award for cross-disciplinary research. He has received 16 honorary degrees from eight countries. Mr. Putnam has written 15 books, translated into twenty languages, including Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

Shaylyn  Romney Garrett has dedicated her life to the pursuit of connection, community, and healing in an increasingly fragmented world. Her work also includes revealing portraits of religious communities across the United States published in the award-winning book, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. She is a founding contributor to the Aspen Institute’s initiative, Weave: The Social Fabric Project, and writes about her personal journey back to community on her blog, Project Reconnect. With her husband, James Garrett, Ms. Romney Garrett co-founded Think Unlimited, a venture working to catalyze social innovation in the Middle East. She lived in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for six years while building Think Unlimited, and partnered with Queen Rania Al-Abdullah to bring experiential learning to Jordanian public schools. Shaylyn’s work has been featured by the New York Times, FastCompany, LinkedIn, Harvard Business Review, and Arab Investor.


Event date: 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Event address: 

Online Zoom webinar!
The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982129149
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 13th, 2020

From the author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids, a “sweeping yet remarkably accessible” (The Wall Street Journal) analysis that “offers superb, often counterintuitive insights” (The New York Times) to demonstrate how we have gone from an individualistic “I” society to a more communitarian “We” society and then back again,