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Praise for Urban Tribes:

Playful without being ironic and meaningful without being sappy, Urban Tribes will be a seminal book. In a decade, we will look back and realize that this book changed how we look at the period young adults live between families.
-- Po Bronson, New York Times bestselling author of What Should I Do with My Life?

"Ethan Watters has achieved the impossible. He's brought to life a fascinating social trend. And he's produced what might be the first work of cultural commentary that has a happy ending! Like the trend it describes, Urban Tribes is generous, wide-ranging, and ultimately inspiring."
-- Daniel H. Pink, author of Free Agent Nation

"I read this book alternately identifying with the people in it, hating their selfish guts, envying their leisurely happiness and admiring what they get from each other. Mainly, I was struck again and again by the author's honesty. The book comes from such heartfelt questions on his part, including some of the barest questions anyone can ask: Is my life worth anything? Am I wasting my time? I raced through this, eager and curious to see what answers he'd find."
--Ira Glass, host of "This American Life"

"This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Urban Tribes redefines the debate over the nature of community and social cohesion in society today. Ethan Watters provides powerful insight into the rise of new kinds of cities and support structures for the growing class of creative, single people inhabiting leading urban centers in the United States and around the world."
--Richard Florida, author of The Rise of The Creative Class

"Honest, insightful, and inviting, Urban Tribes explores why so many of us are single...and loving it. This book is the perfect retort to modern life's persistent question, 'Honey, when are you getting married?'"
--Cameron Tuttle, author of The Bad Girl's Guides



June 23, 2003

If any of the characters from "Will and Grace," "Friends," or "Seinfeld" were intelligent and articulate and wanted to tell the world about their lives, the result would be Urban Tribes. Ethan Watters is possessed of both these virtues, fortunately, along with a pleasantly self-deprecating humor; the story of how he lived his life from college until he got married (at around age forty) is the story of a what he calls his Tribe ...

It's to his immense credit that he studied hard on his subject, flying here and there to check out various tribes all over America. The resulting book is the best and brightest of the Tribe lifestyle, a fascinating look at post-collegiate social life for singles in America today: the long-delayed marriages, the extended relationships (both personal and professional), and how the Tribe can exert peer pressure to simultaneously strengthen and inhibit it members . . .

Watters has a knack for getting past the image of a group and culling the essence of what that group stands for . . . Watters has taken the time to delve into what created the Urban Tribe lifestyle, instead of merely reporting how it functions. His scholarship seems solid, and he's dug from some pretty eclectic sources. His answers to the question, How did this happen? are wide-ranging, and the dozen or so references all get some airtime, allowing the reader to figure out his/her own position . . .

Too many of the TV shows about tribes give the impression that the lives of the characters are empty, without meaning (often because they're not married). "Seinfeld" even celebrates its nothingness. Ethan Watters proves there's more to these 'tweeners than pop culture thinks, and offers hope that this strange generation really is the hope of the future. Urban Tribes is an excellent treatise and a helluva fun read; I give it 4 1/2 stars and recommend it to everyone who worries about what's going to end up happening to all those Gen X'ers.

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