Community: The Structure of Belonging [Paperback]

Peter Block (Author)

Publication Date: September 1, 2009

Modern society is plagued by fragmentation. The various sectors of our communities--businesses, schools, social service organizations, churches, government--do not work together. They exist in their own worlds. As do so many individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalized, their gifts overlooked, their potential contributions lost. This disconnection and detachment makes it hard if not impossible to envision a common future and work towards it together. We know what healthy communities look like--there are many success stories out there, and they've been described in detail.

What Block provides in this inspiring new book is an exploration of the exact way community can emerge from fragmentation: How is community built? How does the transformation occur? What fundamental shifts are involved? He explores a way of thinking about our places that creates an opening for authentic communities to exist and details what each of us can do to make that happen.

Reader reviews from

A Refreshing Alternative to the Status Quo, July 1, 2011 – By Marty Jacobs (East Thetford, VT)

Throughout this book are threads of ideas presented in Block's previous books (The Empowered Manager, Flawless Consulting, Stewardship, The Answer to How is Yes) that are woven into the context of creating stronger communities. It's a testament to the evolution of Block's thinking and therefore his work and is chock full of profound and quotable ideas:

"The context that restores community is one of generosity, possibility, and gifts and not one of problem solving, fear, and retribution."
"A place of belonging is one where all voices have value."
"The small group is the unit of transformation."
"Questions are more transforming than answers."

Block delves into the subject of what it takes to restore and transform our communities through dialogue and small groups. He examines the issues of leadership and citizenship and discusses a variety of large and small group methodologies that will lead to successful transformation. In today's polarized political climate of finger pointing and gaming, this book offers a refreshing alternative to the status quo.

Masterpiece, March 12, 2009 – By David Shechtman (Los Angeles, CA United States)

I've had the good fortune of working with the author in the past, so I knew what to expect in this book. Even with that being the case, I still found the book helpful and illuminating. I use Peter Block's material in my professional life all the time, and with consistent, stellar results. I truly consider Peter, and particularly this book, an anchor in my life.