David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney; Foreword by Todd Gitlin The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of. The Lonely Crowd. A study of the changing. American character by David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney. Abridged edition with a preface. Lonely Crowd. A Study of the. Changing American Character. By. DAVID RIESMAN. IN COLLABORATION WITH. Reuel Denney and Nathan Glazer.

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The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Todd Gitlin Foreword by. The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of the twentieth century. The abridged and revised edition of the book is now reissued with a new tye by Todd Gitlin that explains why the book is still rieaman to our own era.

After half a century, this book has lost none of its capacity to make sense of how we live. PaperbackAbridged, Revisedpages.

Published February 8th by Yale University Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions davie The Lonely Crowdplease sign up. Livro indicado por Olavo de Carvalho!?

See 2 questions about The Lonely Crowd…. Lists with This Book. Jun 23, Trevor rated riedman really liked it Recommended to Trevor by: The main problem is that there is so much to say about this book that it is hard to not go on forever. The key ideas here are that there rissman three main types of people in the world today: The traditional type is someone who could have been born at any time over the lastyears or so.

They are expected to live lives that will not be too much different from the lives lived by their parents. As such they are expected to model or imitate the behaviours they witness in those around them as they grow.

Their ranking in society will be fairly commensurate with their age and experience. Elders, therefore, are important in this kind of society. The inner directed person is the stereotype we have of the nineteenth century olnely of progress.

The inner directed person knows he has the power in his hands to change the world. The third type is the other directed person. This can just as easily be a she in ways it is harder to think of the other two types as being female. Unlike the inner directed person, who is focused on truth and progress, she is not as certain what progress means. She is much more interested in relationships with those around her.

She also does not what to stand out as much as the inner directed person would have been prepared to — if only because being the keeper and advancer of the truth allows one to be much more sure of one’s self than modern people are really capable of. Particularly illuminating in developing this division is the comparison between inner and outer directed people shown in the kinds of stories they choose to tell their children.

The inner directed person tells their children fables and fairytales like Little Red Riding Hood. Fitting in is all important to other directeds. This need to fit in has consequences for how modern people go about their lives.

In politics, for example, those who are inner directed believe they can change the world and even believe they can be President — modern people are not so confident that we can really change things and also prefer not to stand out quite as much. Life is more about being marginally different from those around you – the world is changing so fast that it is hard to be provided with a moral compass, but encouraging kids to be not too different from those around them seems a fairly safe strategy.


The discussion on work — essentially predicting the movement that occurred in the s in Australia with the massive loss of industrial jobs and the shift toward service industry jobs – is one of the many remarkably visionary almost clairvoyant predictions this book makes.

There are amusing paragraphs where the author wonders if television will ever catch on or talks about a radio show called Candid Microphone yes, the forerunner of Candid Camera — but these just add to the surprise that such conclusions could be made at the time, in the late s.

If I have concerns with this book they are mainly to do with the fact that the author reached much the same conclusion Galbraith reached in The New Industrial State and that conclusion did not end up being a reflection of how Capitalism was to prove to develop.

If there is one thing the Global Financial Crisis has proven it is that those at the top of the heap are more than happy to bleed the rest of society white. The prediction that work and play would become increasingly difficult to differentiate was fascinating and one of a string of predictions that are more true today than could they ever have been in This book must have suffered lots of criticism when it came out, or shortly after, as it is based on a linking of social population types and a theory of population growth and decline which at the time must have seemed to be being contradicted by events read, the post-war baby boom.

However, the population Lonelt curve crowr in the early chapters of this book and used throughout seems much more relevant today, just as so many of the conclusions drawn apply to a much broader section of society today than was expected when this book was written. This book poses some very troubling issues for democracies — problems that are still with us and that have not gotten any easier to solve.

View all 3 comments. Of all of these classic social studies, the one that seemed most prescient was The Lonely Crowdwith the discussion of social identification s Olnely updates, below. An other-directed person, meanwhile, based their morality and identity on their social group. How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future.

A Whole New Mind: The problem with this happening in humans is that the worry over production concentrates us on the material world and its consequent attention to science and engineering. And the many crises facing humanity in the coming decades make this an especially inopportune time for such a transformation. Two Billion More Bourgeois. The second essay, How Our Crowd Got Lonely was written just a few years before Riesman died and examines how important The Lonely Crowed was at the time, albeit harder to understand by more recent generations, since they have been raised completely within a world of “outer-directedness” and have trouble percieving how fundamentally different the world might be to someone with an “inner-directed” mind.

Both are worth reading. View roesman 5 comments.

The Lonely Crowd – Wikipedia

Jun 23, joseph rated it really liked it. Feb 20, David Jenkins rated it it was ok. When this book was published inin paperback three years later, and a condensed version init was not only widely admired by intellectuals but also a best-seller.

Today, however, in the humble opinion of one reader who was blown away by it init seems deplorably banal, full of crwod musings, murky abstractions, unsupported opinions and tiresome platitudes. Because of what I saw to be a fearless examination of the eavid and monotony of American society, it had an eno When this book was published inin paperback rieesman years later, and a condensed version init was not only widely admired by intellectuals but also a best-seller.

Because of what I saw to be a fearless examination of the conformity and monotony of American society, it had an enormous impact on my own personal life; it was partly to escape the deadening stigma of the “outer-directed” i. Rereading the book now, I can’t imagine why I was so rjesman. You can open the book almost at random and find long stretches of utterly thee analyses.


For example, Riesman at several points e. None of this is supported by any evidence whatever. The author states that he arrived at these opinions simply by observing American society. Here is a sample on the following page of the author’s vapid jargon: But besides that, what is it supposed to mean and why is it important? And on the next page, we find this supposedly vital comment regarding some unspecified past era: Although this book vavid generated of a specific time and place some of it still holds water.

Although the economic equality of the fifties has eroded and fallen back into gilded age extremes we still live in a consumer society where fitting in is still the most important think. Americans by and large are still what Reisman, Glazer and Denny as other directed.

Unlike earlier Americans who looked inward towards their moral compass thee depend on our peers for our values. We have a proliferation since Although this book is generated of a specific time and place some of it still holds water.

We have a proliferation since the fifties of subculture including some “rebels” but by and large we depend on others for self-valuation. If anything it is more intense now as we check for the number of likes on our Facebook page.

The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character by David Riesman

A modern society that is other directed is awash in advertising and consumption. Politics is about identity not policy and left to professionals we merely cheer our team.

Some of the positive things about America in the fifties have reversed themselves like egalitarianism at least in the wallet. Some things have improved like tolerance of diversity at least in race and davd matters. Some of the trends Reisman et al talk about have intensified like political disengagement of the population and leaving politics to junkies and professionals what the book refers to as inside dopers.

Being a team player is the most important thing to be successful. I see it in education with lots of group work and social skills emphasized and individual work which might come from inward directed virtues davie. With books about social intelligence coming out every year we see a rehashing of Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people” still in vrowd and selling well since it came out in we are all salesmen and team players if we want to get ahead.

The rugged individual who rises tiesman falls on inner drive instead of social networking is a xavid of the GOP and think tank propaganda that individual disappeared a long time ago. This book still matters. May 16, Elly rated it it was amazing Shelves: Very good book that leaves you with a new look on society and looooots of questions.

Basically the author’s xavid is that poor people who have to work hard, have other worries than what other people think of them, and that this is actually the problem of the educated, sophisticated urban folks in affluent societies. This was something I figured out myself when I was 19 or so, so I almost jumped when I read it in one of the greatest sociology books of loonely time.

Because most people today think abo Very good book that leaves you with a new look on society and looooots of questions. Because most people today think about people in affluent Western societies as cold, materialistic, selfish etc.

Riesman draws a much more complex picture. Certainly he cdowd a different image of our industrial-era ancestors that the one we often have, that of boring people deprived of individuality. He described the industrial era as individualistic yet also ascribes to it things that most people would consider anything but individualistic. The consumerist society of today he describes as other-directed, i.

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