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In 1985, the authors’ bestselling Habits of the Heart redefined the terms of America’s debate about individualism and social commitment. With The Good Society, Bellah and his co-authors propose a new response to the country's growing social ills as America moves its domestic, economic, and social crises to the top of the political agenda. Acknowledging that we all live in and through institutions—family, school, community, corporation, religious group, the nation—they show how we can and must take responsibility for making these institutions work, and thereby take responsibility for ourselves. The authors argue that a shared understanding of the common good can lead to a truly effective democracy and that public discourse and debate about our national problems must be renewed and enriched.
“The Good Society is not only thought-provoking but also deeply moving....This book should be widely read, discussed, and argued about in public. It is the beginning of a conversation that must continue and expand.”—Utne Reader
“Wise . . . often passionate . . . offers informed criticism of the large-scale institutions which most Americans find too complex to comprehend.” —Newsweek
“An important book. If it succeeds in sparking a new public discussion of where are society is going, it will have served its purpose.” —The Christian Science Monitor