Review: The American Journal of Psychiatry - May 1, 2009
"Overall, the book is a wistful analysis of interpersonal connection and its avatars in times of amazing technological advances and economic affluence. The authors’ social message is not lost to us: together we may be better for the environment as well as for each other."
Review: Psychotherapy Networker - April 1, 2009
"An intriguing, cautionary critique . . . [a] call to break through the potentially narcissistic intensity of the therapeutic encounter."
Review: San Francisco Chronicle - March 2, 2009
"Olds wrote the book with her husband, Dr. Richard Schwartz, because, she said, she wanted to bring loneliness 'out of the closet.' The two were struck by findings from the General Social Survey (conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago), showing that people reported having fewer intimate friends in 2004 than they had in 1985. When asked how many people they could confide in, the average number declined over that same time period from three to two. In 2004, almost a quarter of those surveyed said they had no one to discuss important matters with in the past six months; in 1985, only 7 percent were devoid of close confidantes."
Review: O Magazine - February 1, 2009
"A thought-provoking, engagingly lucid book. . . . [Olds and Schwartz] have written a wise, balanced, and evocative inquiry; their finger is on the pulse of something very real."
Review: Publishers Weekly - December 15, 2008
"This workmanlike book takes up where Robert D. Putnam's classic Bowling Alone left off in examining the disintegration of community in 21st-century America. Americans, say the authors (both associate clinical professors of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School), have a conflicted views of community: on the one hand, they glorify rugged individualism and, on the other hand, they encourage community and look down on those who cast off community to go it alone. Drawing on interviews with their patients and on numerous studies, Olds and Schwartz point out that being a loner isn't all it's cracked up to be, and many who shun community are surprised at how lonely and socially isolated they feel. The authors conclude that Americans drift away from social connections because of the frenetic and overscheduled intensity of modern life as well as the American pantheon of self-reliant heroes."
Review: Library Journal - November 4, 2008
"Like seminal works . . . this recent addition to the sociological and psychological literature on loneliness is a substantive contribution. . . . The authors capture the essence of our depressed and disjointed culture, especially now that the economy is failing and workaholism is no longer a viable refuge for many. They offer no foolproof solutions, but they do successfully generate awareness of the problem and encourage the ubiquitous lonely Americans to seek attachment and commitment as they pursue happiness. Highly recommended for all public and university libraries."