• What I Found in a Thousand Towns

  • A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities-One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time
  • By: Dar Williams
  • Narrated by: Dar Williams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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What I Found in a Thousand Towns

By: Dar Williams
Narrated by: Dar Williams
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Publisher's Summary

A beloved folk singer presents an impassioned account of the fall and rise of the small American towns she cherishes. Dubbed by the New Yorker as "one of America's very best singer-songwriters", Dar Williams has made her career not in stadiums, but touring America's small towns. She has played their venues, composed in their coffee shops, and drunk in their bars. She has seen these communities struggle, but also seen them thrive in the face of postindustrial identity crises. Here, in an account that "reads as if Pete Seeger and Jane Jacobs teamed up" (New York Times), Williams muses on why some towns flourish while others fail, examining elements from the significance of history and nature to the uniting power of public spaces and food. Drawing on her own travels and the work of urban theorists, Williams offers real solutions to rebuild declining communities.

What I Found in a Thousand Towns is more than a love letter to America's small towns, it's a deeply personal and hopeful message about the potential of America's lively and resilient communities.

©2017 Dar Williams (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about What I Found in a Thousand Towns

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Three or four stars.

I love Dar Williams' music. I stumbled across this book and was quite surprised that Dar had written it. So I give it four stars for Dar completely surprising me with her insights into urban planning and ability to write a pretty decent book. But if you are comparing this to all the books out there, or even all the urban planning books out there, I'm not sure it really deserves four stars. Maybe. I honestly don't read too many urban planning books. This book is for people who are really interested in what makes communities tick, and how to make them tick better. (It is not necessarily for people who have ticks …) One thing to know about this book is that it is largely focused on New York and the Northeast. It does talk about some towns in the West and Midwest, but probably because Dar has long lived in the Northeast, many of the examples given come from this area. You will learn about the value of rehabilitating neglected waterfronts, and the importance of creating viable venues for artists, why the history of a town may be one of its hidden assets, and many other lessons along these lines. While the book seems well organized, carefully researched, and well written, ultimately I did not find the subject matter that compelling. My attention started to drift away. But perhaps I am not really the right target audience for the book. My favorite parts of the book involved Dar's anecdote's about her experiences on the road. I feel like she probably has more books she could write on other topics and some of them might resonate more with a broader audience. I also think she is a good narrator, though sometimes she reads too fast. So if she ever wanted to, she could probably start a new career reading recorded books.

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An absolutely necessary read

for everyone who lives in a community -- know anybody? -- its a must read

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Loved this book!

Dar is the consummate story teller whether it be through her songs or books. This book makes you look around at your own community with a critical eye towards evaluating & rebuilding your community. You get the added bonus of Dar as the story teller performing the narration of the book. Best part was when she told a story about a concert she did in St. Pete FL that I actually attended! Loved it & recommend!

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It’s Brilliant, simply brilliant!!!

This is definitely a must read book, god bless you! I will keep reading! Bye

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Thought provking

Listening to Dar read her book feels like sitting with her and chatting over a cup of tea. Insightful and filled with hope for out collective future, as well as providing simple ideas we can all build on.