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In the 1960s, community groups across America had seemed to stand on the threshold of a new era of expanded involvement. Churches and synagogues were packed, as more Americans worshiped together than only a few decades earlier, perhaps more than ever in American history. Gallup pollsters discovered that the number of Americans who would like to see their children “go into politics as a life’s work” had nearly doubled over little more than a decade. The fifties and sixties were hardly a “golden age,” especially for those Americans who were marginalized because of their race or gender or social class or sexual orientation. One of America’s most acute social observers prophesied in 1968, “Participatory democracy has all along been the political style of the American middle and upper class.


Putnam, Robert D. "Bowling Alone: Thinking About Social Change in America." The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector. Ed. J. Steven Ott and Lisa A. Dicke. Routledge, May 2021.