Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. His latest book, Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life (available now), makes the provocative case that the resilience of our communities rests not on shared values but shared spaces: the libraries, day-care centers, bookstores, coffee shops, and community gardens that create crucial, sometimes life-saving connections between us.
The highly-regarded sociologist’s recent article written for the Guardian, Palaces for the People: Why Libraries are More than Just Books, offers his views on the importance of libraries and how they can offer a place for respite, as well as one for social bonding.
Klinenberg's previous books include, Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, and Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media. He also coauthored, with Aziz Ansari, the #1 New York Times bestselling book Modern Romance.
In addition to writing books and scholarly articles, Klinenberg is the editor of Public Culture, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal of cultural studies. He has also contributed to the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, Time, and the Washington Post.
Penguin Random House