Based on a popular New York Times Op-Ed piece, this is the quirky, heartfelt account of one man's quest to meet his neighbors--and find a sense of community.
**As seen in Parade, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, and more.
**Winner of the Zocalo Square Book Prize, and recently named a first selection by Action Book Club.
"It's impossible to read this book without feeling the urge to knock on neighbors' doors."
Journalist and author Peter Lovenheim lived on the same street in suburban Rochester, NY, most of his life. But it was only after a brutal murder-suicide rocked the community that he was struck by a fact of modern life in this comfortable enclave: No one knew anyone else.
Thus begins Peter's search to meet and get to know his neighbors. An inquisitive person, he does more than just introduce himself. He asks, ever so politely, if he can sleep over.
In this smart, engaging, and deeply felt book, Lovenheim takes readers inside the homes, minds, and hearts of his neighbors and asks a thought-provoking question: Do neighborhoods matter--and is something lost when we live among strangers?
Social history reporting can get dull in the abstract; happily, journalist and family man Lovenheim (Portrait of a Burger as a Young Calf) makes a personal project of his investigation into the disappearance of community in suburban American, learning about the residents of his suburban Rochester, N.Y. street by sleeping over at their houses (his impetus was a murder-suicide on the street that helped reveal the extent to which his neighbors remained strangers). Throughout, Lovenheim's writing is genteel and elegantly detailed, revealing much about his subjects-issues of class, relationships, likes and gripes, obsessions and everyday struggles-that would be easy to miss in broad cultural assessments. His project also exposes the surprising variety of people in a neighborhood that seems, at first glance, a homogenous group of upper-middle-class professionals. Using the sleepover as an innovative sociological lens, Lovenheim provides a smart, from-the-front-lines update on Robert Putnam's suburban-alienation expose Bowling Alone, taking a personal look at what Americans tend to lose by "going about their lives largely detached from those living around them."
Customer ReviewsSee All
Fantastic and inspiring!
This book has inspired me to contact my neighbors and establish (or re-kindle) a neighborly relationship. Everyone should read this!
In The Neighborhood
Totally engaging read. How many of us really know our neighbor? The author is inspiring without preaching his personal quest. This book has confirmed many of my observances and changed the way I will view my role in my neighborhood and the human community as a whole. A quick read and so very worth it.