From Alexis de Tocqueville's classic Democracy in America to contemporary observers of the cultural scene, critics and celebrators of American society alike have exhibited an extraordinary interest in the subject of community. Of late, an outpouring of books and commentaries, ranging from Robert Putnam's widely discussed Bowling Alone to Robert Wuthnow's Learning to Care, have addressed the alleged decline of community while also proposing solutions for the problem. Governmental officials from all points on the political spectrum, social scientists, journalists, writers, community activists, and ordinary citizens, have all weighed in on the issue. Now a book has been written that addresses community from the vantage point of the Northern Plains.
Written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and coming at the problem through personal narratives, history, social analysis, educational philosophy, fiction, poetry, and other perspectives, Peril and Promise: Essays on Community in South Dakota and Beyond is guaranteed to stimulate your interest in the subject and to invite discussion and speculation about how to maintain and resurrect social interaction and cooperation in your own communities.
Written mainly by professors at South Dakota State University and focused primarily upon South Dakota, the book takes a broad perspective on the subject and will be of interest to everyone in the region and to anyone concerned or curious about how community is constructed and maintained.