2001, The Trusteeship of Legal Rulemaking, Hofstra Law Review

Robert D. Putnam, Bowing Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.

New York: Simon & Schuster. 2000. Pp. 544

Edward S. Adams* and Richard A. Saliterman**

Professor Robert D. Putnam’s work is, in many respects, the contemporary companion to Democracy in America.¹  It comprehensively surveys and tests common presumptions held about our democracy with apparently very reliable quantitative data.²  Until recently, a work of this depth and breadth has been unavailable.  Putnam sets for a well supported thesis suggesting that even though American financial capital may be at a high, its “social capital” has perhaps reached a record low, or at least a level similar to the social, economic, and legal bottleneck of a century ago.³  His use of empirical and combined data, however, probes into the American spirit, indeed implying that the present setting is more dangerous.*  This method is in contrast to many other surveys and commentaries that are based significantly on anecdotal evidence or that worship earlier studies founded on less than empirical or weak social science technique.*

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