Richard Sennett's The Fall of Public Man examines the growing imbalance between private and public experience, and asks what can bring us to reconnect with our communities.
Are we now so self-absorbed that we take little interest in the world beyond our own lives? Or has public life left no place for individuals to participate?
Tracing the changing nature of urban society from the eighteenth century to the world we now live in, and the decline of involvement in political life in recent decades, Richard Sennett discusses the causes of our social withdrawal. His landmark study of the imbalance of modern civilization provides a fascinating perspective on the relationship between public life and the cult of the individual.
'Brilliant ... One admires the breadth of Professor Sennett's erudition, the reach of his historical imagination, the doggedness of his analysis ... Buy this book and read it. Ironically, it may provide a key to happiness'
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
'A powerful argument for a more formal public culture and a swipe against the rise of a self-indulgent counter-culture'
Melissa Benn, Guardian
'A provocative book ... Sennett brings us to an undeniably recognizable place, the contemporary urban scene'
Richard Todd, Atlantic Monthly
Richard Sennett's previous books include The Fall of Public Man, The Corrosion of Character, Flesh and Stone and Respect. He was founder director of the New York Institute for the Humanities, and is now University Professor at New York University and Academic Governor and Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics.