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This Land of Strangers - Robert E Hall

This Land of Strangers

"..the most important book of the decade." — Richard Boyatzis, co-author of best seller Primal Leadership

Relationships, in all their varied forms, have been the lifetime study of Robert Hall. He brings a rare combination of experience as a researcher, consultant, writer, teacher and CEO in dealing with the real-world relationship challenges of modern organizations. When coupled with a decade of hands-on experience in the gritty world of inner-city homeless families it translates into a tapestry of vivid stories, well-researched and oft startling facts, and strategic insights that weave together the yet untold narrative of society's gravest risk and most stellar opportunity.


Praise for This Land of Strangers:

■  “This is the most important book of the decade. If you can only read one more book in your life, make it this one. It is enlightening, insightful and inspirational about how we can transform our deteriorating relationships. Having studied intimacy and relationships at home and work for 45 years, I wish I had been able to write this book. It is now required reading in all of my graduate courses – and I am giving it to all of my friends and people who need friends!”

– Richard Boyatzis Ph.D., co-author of the international best sellers,


Distinguished Professor, Case Western Reserve University.

Click on a cover to learn more about the book.

Robert’s first book, The Streetcorner Strategy for Winning Local Markets, helped inspire the customer relationship management movement. His latest book, This Land of Strangers: The Relationship Crisis That Imperils Home, Work, Politics, and Faith now sounds the alarm regarding society’s most destructive trend and our greatest opportunity – the rebuilding of our valuable and value-creating relationships.


This Land of Strangers

On August 20, 2012, This Land of Strangers made it to #1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers in Government. Thank you for your continued support!

A must-read for comprehending our great relational unraveling at home, work, in politics, and faith.

This relationship crisis is widely felt. The family disintegrates. Friendships diminish. Communities collapse. Businesses lose trust and customers. Employees lose commitment as they feel increasingly disposable. Stridency and hostility curdle political and religious discourse.

Yet until now, no one has woven together the disparate research from these broad domains into a narrative that reveals the sheer breadth and depth of our decline, nor calculated its unsustainable costs. Readers will be shocked at the magnitude of the problem and the cumulative destruction it wreaks.

Once the answers to society’s most pressing problems were sought in economics, politics, law, social programs, and tax policy. Today those sources have proven increasingly powerless to address the singular most devastating root of the problem: a comprehensive unraveling of our life-giving relationships.

With deep passion and insight borne of three decades of study, Hall explores in illuminating detail four key societal advances that have delivered unintended consequences – damage to our relationships. He makes the case that relationship is so integral to our well-being that its decline gives rise to an emerging caste system. Those with superior relational networks prosper. Those with inferior and shrinking relational networks – children growing up without fathers, adults without confidants, companies distrusted by key stakeholders, polarizing political and religious groups who sow divide and dysfunction – are destined to lose out.

Hall concludes by challenging readers to embrace three emerging changes that show signs of revitalizing life-giving relationships, reversing the forces that birthed “this land of strangers” and ushering in a new era – The Age of Relationship.

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More Praise for This Land of Strangers

■  “A splendid cultural critique.”

– John L. McKnight, author of The Careless Society and co-author of The Abundant Community, Professor Emeritus, Co-Director, Asset-Based Community Development Institute, Northwestern University

■  ” Think of it as an updated version of Robert Putnam’s book, Bowling Alone, one with plenty of data.”

– Ross Pulliam, Associate Editor, – The Indianapolis Star

■  “As a pastor of over 30 years, I have seen the devastation that broken and non-existent relationships have caused and was uplifted to find your comprehensive research bore that out in a style that is easy to understand. Not only does your book speak to the dismal data, but offers avenues for change. TPF has built its reputation on relationships and I found This Land of Strangers to be the perfect platform to launch discussion on who we are as a foundation and how to maintain that reputation and enhance it. Thank you for your inspiration.”

– Dr. Richard E. Young, President & CEO, Texas Presbyterian Foundation

■  “Hall examines a spreading deterioration in our intimate associations and calculates the accumulating cost to our society of this destructive trend. The wealth and breadth of his evidence makes him a powerful witness to the problem, and enhances the credibility of his recommendation for restoring the basic social cohesion that defines us as human.”

– Walt Albro, Editor, ABA Bank Marketing Magazine

■  “Your book belongs in the public school system!”

– Michael Dresser, Nationally syndicated radio host of “Dresser After Dark”

Who is This Land of Strangers for?

This book is for social, business, political, and religious groups interested in understanding how the broader relational demise applies to their specific area(s) of concern:

  • Parents, grandparents, teachers, and counselors who want to better grasp the context, cause, cost, and cure for relational decline on the children.
  • Foundations, non-profits, public service agencies, social service workers, case managers, and church groups who serve those trapped in a world of relational chaos.
  • Businesses challenged to deliver enhanced customer, employee, management, and shareholder relationships in a marketplace of distrust and relational erosion.
  • Citizens, political interest groups, and activists concerned about the partisan divide that has rendered our government impotent to address urgent economic, social, and cultural problems.
  • Church and secular groups caught in heated debate and vitriol that obstructs constructive disagreement, tolerance of differences, and espoused values for caring relationships.
  • Associations, small groups, book clubs, and special interest groups focused on learning more about the single most important unreported strategic trend that endangers all of society.
  • University and study groups who want to discuss the most researched book available on the state of relationships.

The Streetcorner Strategy for Winning Local Markets

The business best-seller that helped inspire the Customer Relationship Management movement – over 35,000 copies sold.

Company after company is struggling to grow profitable revenue because they are losing the battle to grow valued customer relationships. Lots of books have been written about market segmentation, sales, service, quality, and cost. But until The Streetcorner Strategy for Winning Local Markets, no single book pulled those critical business issues together to provide a comprehensive road map for building strong, targeted customer relationships. The book defines four keys for building stronger, more valued, and valuable relationships: Identify the unique potential of your local market, allocate and tailor sales and service efforts to local needs, create committed and empowered local employee teams, and lead the cultural change to make it a way of life.

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Praise for The Streetcorner Strategy:

■  “A clear and concise game plan for anyone interested in understanding what profitable, local markets are all about.”

– Bill Saporito,
 Member of the Board of Editors, 

■  “Robert Hall has not only been a pioneer on the subject of Customer Relationship Management, but provides advice on its most difficult aspect: successful implementation of a CRM strategy at the point of customer contact.”

– Thomas K. Brown, Founder and CEO of and Second Curve Capital

■  “Robert Hall has a gift for making clear what’s not working and why, in customer relationships. If you want to paint a vivid picture of the main challenges for your sales, marketing, and technology managers – how to build the right customer relationships at the point of customer contact – his book is the right place to start. It shows genuine insight into the customer viewpoint, and passion for getting it right.”

– Michael Hegarty, 
President and Chief Operating Officer, 

■  “Hall’s perspective is especially critical for companies who market to many parts of the world. The greater the differentiation in your markets, the more important local market management becomes. This book reflects some of the key components of our company’s game plan.”

– John Donaldson and Mark McCafferty,
 Managing Directors, Financial Services, Worldwide Travel-Related Business, 
Thomas Cook Group Unlimited
, London, England

■  “The fortunes and futures of retailers, banks, and other large organizations hinge on hundreds of decisions at the store and branch level. Hall presents a challenge and blueprint for ‘thinking local’ and building strategies around what matters most – the customer.”

– Anthony J. Rutigliano, 
Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, Sales & Marketing Management magazine