The Lonely Crowd

A Study of the Changing American Character, Abridged and revised edition

David Riesman with Nathan Glazer and Reuel Denney; Foreword by Todd Gitlin

View Inside Price: $18.95


February 8, 2001
392 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
ISBN: 9780300088656
Paper

The Lonely Crowd is considered by many to be the most influential book of the twentieth century. Its now-classic analysis of the “new middle class” in terms of inner-directed and other-directed social character opened exciting new dimensions in our understanding of the psychological, political, and economic problems that confront the individual in contemporary American society. The 1969 abridged and revised edition of the book is now reissued with a new foreword by Todd Gitlin that explains why the book is still relevant to our own era.

“As accessible as it is acute, The Lonely Crowd is indispensable reading for anyone who wishes to understand American society. After half a century, this book has lost none of its capacity to make sense of how we live.”—Todd Gitlin
Praise for the earlier editions:

"One of the most penetrating and comprehensive views of the twentieth-century urban American you're likely to find."—Commonweal
"Brilliant and original."—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

David Riesman is Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard University. Nathan Glazer is emeritus professor of education and sociology structure at Harvard University. Reuel Denney was emeritus professor of English at the University of Hawaii. Todd Gitlin is professor of culture, journalism, and sociology at New York University and the author of The Sixties, The Twilight of Common Dreams, and two novels, most recently Sacrifice.

The Lonely Crowd . . . was published more than half a century ago. It remains not only the best-selling book by a professional sociologist in American history, but arguably one that has had the widest influence on the nation at large. The work . . . inevitably raises questions about the claims and limitations of academic sociology today.”—Orlando Patterson, New York Times

“As accessible as it is acute, The Lonely Crowd is indispensable reading for anyone who wishes to understand American society. After half a century, this book has lost none of its capacity to make sense of how we live.”—Todd Gitlin

"One of the most penetrating and comprehensive views of the twentieth-century urban American you're likely to find."—Commonweal (on the earlier editions)

"Brilliant and original."—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (on the earlier editions)

"The Lonely Crowd remains at least as instructive now as it was in 1950, all the more so as the reality it perceived closes in on us. Reich's disciples would find, if they could conceive of trusting a book that is all of 22 years old. that it speaks to them withy at least as much 'relevance' as do their current gurus."—Jonathan Yardley, New Republic (on the earlier edition)

"A stimulating and provocative book. . . . It is impossible to do justice in a review to the breadth and richness of the material."—Margaret Mead (on the the earlier edition)

"Riesman has a spaciousness of outlook which brings great promise to American social theory. . . . His work is strewn with insights which make every page crackle as you read it."—Max Lerner

"A brilliant and original book."—Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Reporter (on the earlier edition)

"A book for anyone who believes that the economic, political, and psychological problems of our time demand social discovery and invention and who is interested in joining with a vigorous and provocative mind in the discovery."—Helen Lynd, New York Post (on the earlier edition)

"The intellectual freshness The Lonely Crowd provides will give the fortunate reader an impressive emotional experience. This is a book to haunt your senses."—Joseph M. Goldsen, Public Opinion Quarterly (on the earlier edition)

"David Reisman's is the rare book which will be read with pleasure and profit even by those who reject its central conclusions. . . . A challenging explanation of the American character."—Oscar Handlin, Saturday Review of Literature (on the earlier edition)