Bowling the American Dream

Great news! The Kickstarter campaign for the book has launched! Find it here.

In his Bowling Alone work, Harvard professor Robert D. Putnam concluded that the decline in the American Bowling Alley as an institution reflects a similar decline in American social capital – the value of our human networks.

But there's more to the American Bowling Alley then just social capital.  According to Stanford professor Raj Chetty, the rise and fall of the American Bowling Alley likely reflects the rise and fall of nothing less than the “American Dream” itself – the belief that life for one’s children will be better than for one self.   In this way, the American Bowling Alley is the bellwether of the American Dream.

What do these bellwethers of the American Dream look like? What visual clues about the American Dream – lost or found – are seen in the communities that lost bowling alleys? BOWLING THE AMERICAN DREAM seeks to visually document the American Bowling Alley, its bowlers, and its communities.

The BOWLING THE AMERICAN DREAM project is in its late stages, but I am still traveling and photographing bowling alleys and bowlers. If you are a bowler, a bowling alley owner or manager, or have information about bowling alleys that have closed in recent years, get in touch!