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The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods
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The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  231 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
This book reminds us that a neighborhood that can raise a child, provide security, sustain our health, secure our income, and care for our vulnerable people is within the power of our community.
ebook, 200 pages
Published June 14th 2010 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. (first published January 1st 2010)
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Aden Date
I had difficulty finishing this book, and stopped reading some time ago - so feel free to take this review with a grain of salt.

I should state by saying that I broadly agree with the thrust of the book: That there has been a breakdown of "community," in our culture and that we would be richer if we worked towards its repair.

Like many pop-sociology books, I felt it fell in to a few common traps:
Jargon. The book very quickly moves in to using it's own brand of rhetoric, familiar to community org
Justin Gravitt
May 15, 2017 Justin Gravitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This book was amazing. I'll give it 4.5 stars. It dissects our American culture that makes sense and challenges our assumptions. If you've ever wondered just how profoundly this culture is impacting you and those around you then you should give this book a read. I deducted half a star because the writing style was a bit hard for me to read. It just never flowed super well, despite the fact that what I was reading was really interesting and important.
Jul 18, 2017 Meagan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this book. I wanted it to be inspiring and transformative because I so strongly agree with its main thrust and wish for an awakening of community. While it wasn't quite everything I hoped for, it definitely has some good things to offer. It has some good practical ideas for overcoming awkwardness and starting simple conversations that can start to knit your neighborhood together. I think it is also underpinned by some good principles regarding what is valuable in communit ...more
Kare Anderson

In this weak economy where budgets of local governments and non-profit budgets will continue to get slashed, it is especially heartening to read the mutual-reliance message inherent in this book. Rather than rely solely on outsiders and related funding and services, the authors suggest we band together with locals to come up with our own solutions to problems – and ways to leverage the resources we each have in support of “our” community.

While the authors advocate “no more relying on institution
Paul Signorelli
To propose the existence of abundance at a time when so many people are discouraged and overwhelmed might appear to be a hard sell. But that's exactly what John McKnight and Peter Block effectively do and nurture through their wonderful book "The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods" and the Abundant Community website ( they maintain to support and spread their work--and ours. A heartfelt and encouraging paean to the power of coll ...more
Rob Kall
Dec 22, 2015 Rob Kall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read and loved this book, then interviewed the authors together, on my radio show. Here's what I said, introducing the book.
I got a look at this book, and the subtitle is Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods. The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods. And, it sat on my desk a little bit, and I just looked at it, and I wasn't real excited about it right away, but then I opened it up and I started looking at it, and all of a sudden I got really excit
Silas White
Like Peter Block's Community, this is an important book, and certainly charges out of the gate as an important book, but then relaxes into a carefully crafted, repetitive, humourless tedium. I still feel the Introduction, Chapter 1, and Chapters 6-7 at the end are essential reading. I wish the rest of the book could've effectively and engagingly built on this fundamental view expressed at the beginning and end, rather than merely acted as filler. I don't think it was structured well in that the ...more
Sep 02, 2015 Chelsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
With no facts, research, or concrete data to rely upon, this is just some vague yearning for the black-and-white aw shucks era. Would we be better off if, instead of doctors, we got all our medical information from neighbors? Seems unlikely, but the book argues so. It is so in favor of homeschooling (fight Big Teacher) and home carpentry (fight Big Contractor?).
Tanvee Agrawal
Stopped reading it. This book is good, well researched but I am not the correct audience for it. I have been married for less than two years, have no kids and live a simple life in a second country.
I am still figuring out things and I am not running to finish errands nor chasing time to fix in some more work. I believe in the power of people and like to know about all the happenings around me. Though it's difficult to find interactive and social neighbors, I am trying to follow my neighborhood
Dec 28, 2013 Drick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: community-work
This is a very practical book that looks at how to build community in families, neighborhoods and other groups. They set up a contrast between a society of consumers vs. a society of citizens. The greatest threat to community is the consumer mindset that is built on a system designed to create dissatisfaction so one will look to things to bring joy, happiness, belonging and meaning. By contrast citizens are people who are actively engaged in creating the kinds of comm unites that honor people's ...more
This book was a little idyllic for my taste, but I still got a lot out of it. Mainly, it did a good job of cementing what an assets-based perspective could look like. The positivity and admonishment of a deficit model was worthwhile.
Some of what was communicated in the book made me a bit uncomfortable. Depending on how broad the view of "community" is, the book seemed to allow for structural injustices to be ignored in favour of a localised approach that would somehow be to pure for such injusti
Aug 14, 2016 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A how-to book on making our community lives healthier, safer, and happier. It shows us how to build more self-reliant communities and communities less reliant on big government and big corporation to solve our problems. First, it talks about the wrong in relying on big government and big corporation. Then it shows us how to build strong communities, giving us examples and resource links.
Oct 02, 2014 Trace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-booklist
This was an excellent study on communities. It gave an in-depth look at the issues affecting communities - some of which I would never have guessed - but as I started reading about them, I realized that yes, of course they would negatively impact our communities and neighborhoods. Loved this book. I think I may need to purchase it and add it to my 2015 Booklist...
Jun 20, 2011 Sheri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book laments the decline of community, particularly locational community. The authors define what, exactly, has been lost, and give suggestions for recreating community. They seemed almost too optimistic about neighbors' willingness to be involved in others' lives, but perhaps I am too pessimistic.
Aug 25, 2016 Skipr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A few too many buzzwords/phrases, but still, it reinforced something I've been thinking more about lately: we (most of us) have unwittingly traded a lot of the good things that come only through communities and neighborhoods for the speed, convenience, and short-term money savings of being "global" consumers.
Dec 11, 2011 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really liked this. We focus so often on what is wrong or complaining - here are not only good ideas, but a background for what makes community - and makes it well.

Rather than thinking about what I need - look to what the community needs to thrive - and your life as a part of that community will be better.

Should be required reading for school boards and local elected officals
Sep 27, 2011 KeriParker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it reads a little like a text book (lots of information included in the short 160 pages) this book asked great questions and offered simple, yet powerful ideas. Inspired me to seek out my own neighbors in an effort to support my neighborhood in becoming self sustaining. Interesting indeed!
Oct 21, 2013 Websterdavid3 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the best books i've ever read; very clear, simple and very challenging to our conventional wisdom. "Grief specialists" as a professionalization of a community function, sucking up community resources. Interesting, wise.

Great resource about the power of neighbours and community.
Jul 17, 2011 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good in its own right but very very similar to "Community".
Jan 13, 2012 Allie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school, 2012
The first half of the book was wonderful. But the chapters dedicated to solution felt like an oversimplification. Still, I like the overall premise of the book and what they're trying to convey.
Melody Warnick
Nice little treatise about why pulling together with neighbors and friends fills the existential emptiness far more effectively than shopping.
May 21, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We have everything we need in our local community. Love the call to be a citizen versus a consumer.
VERY thought provoking, very glad I read it. Makes me yearn for community!
Jan 07, 2012 Emilie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: informational
Wish it was shortened to a white paper, but a good perspective on communities.
Aug 14, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Interesting points about how we have removed ourselves from a "community" setting to a service setting. Interesting ideas on how to start to rejoin a community and help others do so as well.
Jenn Gordon
This book was interesting, and full of plenty of good information about why and how we can improve our engagement in community. My chief complaint was its repetitive nature.
May 17, 2011 Elsa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
This book helps me recall what I always believed the church could be -- and gives simple steps on how to reclaim the dream. Very inspiring.
Sep 26, 2012 Tonya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rebelling against consumerism and building my community. I am all for it!
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“Consumer society begins at the moment when what was once the province or function of the family and community migrates to the marketplace.” 0 likes
“In adopting system life, people choose to yield sovereignty in exchange for the promise of predictability. Even families and communities turn over their sovereignty for the promise of a safe and predictable future.” 0 likes
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