The Upswing

How We Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again

Robert D. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett
AUD $49.99

An eminent political scientist's brilliant analysis of economic, social, and political trends over the past century demonstrating how we have gone from an individualistic 'I' society to a more communitarian 'We' society and then back again and how we can learn from that experience.

Deep and accelerating inequality; unprecedented political polarisation, vitriolic public discourse; a fraying social fabric' public and private narcissism - today we seem to agree on only one thing: this is the worst of times.

But we've been here before - a century ago.

In a sweeping overview of more than a century of history, drawing on his inimitable combination of statistical analysis and storytelling, Robert Putnam analyses a remarkable confluence of trends that bought us from an 'I' society to a 'We' society and then back again. He draws inspiring lessons from our time from an earlier era, when a dedicated group of reformers righted the ship, putting us on a path to becoming a society one again based on community. Engaging, revelatory, and timely, this is Putnam's most ambitious work yet, and an unmissable contribution to the debate over where we want our society to go.

Author bio:

Robert D. Putnam is the Malkin Research Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University and a former Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has written fourteen books, including the bestselling Our Kids and Bowling Alone, and has consulted for the last four US Presidents. In 2021, President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal. His research program, the Saguaro Seminar, is dedicated to fostering civic engagement in America. Visit

Shaylyn Romney Garrett is a writer and award-winning social entrepreneur. She is a founding contributor to 'Weave: The Social Fabric Project', an Aspen Institute initiative. She also contributed to Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell's American Grace. Shaylyn holds a degree in Government from Harvard University and is a returned Peace Corps volunteer. Visit

Category: Current Affairs & Politics
ISBN: 9781800750029
Publisher: Swift Press
Imprint: Swift Press
Pub Date: January 2021
Page Extent: 448
Format: Book
Subject: Social issues & processes