Going Solo by Eric Klinenberg
The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone

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...“Going Solo” offers a comprehensive look at the lures and perils of living alone.
-The Economist

Synopsis

A revelatory examination of the most significant demographic shift since the Baby Boom—the sharp increase in the number of people who live alone—that offers surprising insights on the benefits of this epochal change

In 1950, only 22 percent of American adults were single. Today, more than 50 percent of American adults are single, and 31 million—roughly one out of every seven adults—live alone. People who live alone make up 28 percent of all U.S. households, which makes them more common than any other domestic unit, including the nuclear family. In GOING SOLO, renowned sociologist and author Eric Klinenberg proves that these numbers are more than just a passing trend. They are, in fact, evidence of the biggest demographic shift since the Baby Boom: we are learning to go solo, and crafting new ways of living in the process.

Klinenberg explores the dramatic rise of solo living, and examines the seismic impact it’s having on our culture, business, and politics. Though conventional wisdom tells us that living by oneself leads to loneliness and isolation, Klinenberg shows that most solo dwellers are deeply engaged in social and civic life. In fact, compared with their married counterparts, they are more likely to eat out and exercise, go to art and music classes, attend public events and lectures, and volunteer. There’s even evidence that people who live alone enjoy better mental health than unmarried people who live with others and have more environmentally sustainable lifestyles than families, since they favor urban apartments over large suburban homes. Drawing on over three hundred in-depth interviews with men and women of all ages and every class, Klinenberg reaches a startling conclusion: in a world of ubiquitous media and hyperconnectivity, this way of life can help us discover ourselves and appreciate the pleasure of good company.

With eye-opening statistics, original data, and vivid portraits of people who go solo, Klinenberg upends conventional wisdom to deliver the definitive take on how the rise of living alone is transforming the American experience. GOING SOLO is a powerful and necessary assessment of an unprecedented social change.

 

About Eric Klinenberg

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ERIC KLINENBERG is a professor of sociology at New York University and the editor of the journal Public Culture. His first book, Heat Wave, won several scholarly and literary prizes and was declared a “Favorite Book” by the Chicago Tribune. His research has been heralded in The New Yorker and on CNN and NPR, and his stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and on This American Life.
 
Published February 2, 2012 by Penguin Press. 273 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Going Solo
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Kathryn Hughes on May 03 2012

Solo living, as endorsed by the happily married Klinenberg, resembles nothing so much as youth hostelling in the 1970s, complete with the whiff of other peoples' socks.

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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Daniel Akst on Jan 28 2012

We do need more multi-unit housing and improved long-term care...but a note of caution is in order. Western nations are burdened by heavy debts and low birth rates, which could lead to a decline in the affluence that makes living alone possible.

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The Economist

Good
on Feb 16 2013

...“Going Solo” offers a comprehensive look at the lures and perils of living alone.

Read Full Review of Going Solo: The Extraordinary... | See more reviews from The Economist

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Becky Toyne on Feb 10 2012

Going Solo is predominantly for middle-class, North American, downtown-dwelling singletons, and as a reader who fits squarely into that category, I did not close the book disappointed.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Becky Toyne on Feb 10 2012

Going Solo is predominantly for middle-class, North American, downtown-dwelling singletons, and as a reader who fits squarely into that category, I did not close the book disappointed.

Read Full Review of Going Solo: The Extraordinary... | See more reviews from National Post arts

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rahul 5 Sep 2013

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