October 23, 2018

Featured by BYU Wheatley Institution

In his October 22, 2018 article for the BYU Wheatley Institution, Ronald K. Mitchell likens our current society’s interactions to an out-of-tune band. He sees Our Towns as presenting a counterpoint — examples of a “Society in Tune” — particularly in four of the Fallowses’ 10 1/2 signs of civic success, those he posits illustrate, “the kinds of personal-preference example which, when set, can effect unity and harmony and a civil society.”

  • “People work together on practical local possibilities, rathe rthan allowing bitter disagreements about national politics to keep them apart. … The more often national politics came into local discussions, the worse shape the town was likely to be in.”
  • “People know the civic story. [The value of the civic story] … is in giving citizens a sense of how today’s efforts are connected to what happened yesterday and what they hope tomorrow will bring.”
  • “They make themselves open. [In the towns and cities that had civic success, the people] … frequently stressed the ways their communities were trying to attract and include new people … The same emphasis on inclusion that would make a town attractive to talented outsiders increases its draw to its own …”
  • “You can pick out the local patriots. … Who makes this town go? … a person … whose influence everyone felt.”