As a response to the increasing violence in our culture, the widening ideological divides, and the growing gap in economic well-being, there is greater awareness that a deeper sense of community is desperately needed. But even as we acknowledge the need to build community, the dominant on-the-ground practices about how to engage people, civically and organizationally, remain essentially unchanged. We still believe community is built with better messaging, more persuasion, and social events for people to get to know each other better. All of which is naïve.
In this new edition, Block draws on a decade of putting these ideas into practice to emphasize what has worked and extract those thoughts that were nice but had no durability. He explores how technology, instead of bringing us together, has driven us into more isolation. New examples show that community building can be a more powerful way to address social problems than more traditional policies and programs. And encouragingly, Block insists this is really simple, once we decide it is essential. He offers a way of thinking that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.