Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America (3rd Edition)
Updated in a new 3rd edition and part of the "Great Questions in Politics" series, Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America combines polling data with a compelling narrative to debunk commonly-believed myths about American politics—particularly the claim that Americans are deeply divided in their fundamental political views.
Authored by one of the most respected political scientists in America, this brief, trade-like text looks at controversial and hot topic issues (such as homosexuality, abortion, etc.) and argues that most Americans are not polarized in relation to them.
Political class is polarized, but the rest of us can think!
By Todd I. Stark "Cellular Wetware plus Books" - November 16, 2004
This is a very brief and tightly argued book of enormous relevance to us in 2004. It makes the following remarkable points:
1. On close inspection of individual opinions, the vast majority of the electorate in the U.S. are *moderate*, not radically polarized into liberals and conservatives. That is, most of us are, as we would like to believe, capable of thinking independently for ourselves rather than strictly along party ideological lines.
We are a _closely_divided_ nation, as reflected in the very close recent elections, however we are NOT a _*deeply*_divided_ nation. That is, we are not really a nation of two distinct warring camps and a couple of swing states as the media sometimes present it for dramatic purposes. Fiorina sugests that we are actually something close to an ambivalent nation which divides itself in poltitical matters because we have no choice when presented with highly divided options.
2. The American public has *not* become... read more
Great argument doesn't convince me
By Sor_Fingers - December 17, 2008
This is a great book, but I'm not sure that I feel comfortable fully embracing Fiorina's thesis. Fiorina argues that the electorate is not polarized, but we perceive it to be for various reasons (Polarized politicians, political activists, most voters are moderate with few extremists in the electorate, the media blows it all out of proportion, ect.). While Fiorina makes a compelling case and provides exhaustive evidence to support his claims, as much as I want to embrace his argument, my experience begs to differ. Perhaps I tend to be around extremists from both sides of the political spectrum and my experience is different than others, but as far as I can tell my peers are just as polarized as the political community. I've never lived in blood red America, but I've met enough die hard conservatives to know that lots are out there. I've also spent the majority of my life in some of the most liberal populations in the country, so I know there's a pretty strong coalition on the other... read more
Red and blue for me and you...
By FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" - March 24, 2005
We are using Fiorina's book as a supplementary text to the primary text book in our Introduction to Political Science course at the community college where I tutor. It helps to add dimension to the more basic exposition of the structure of government (separation of powers, federal systems, etc.) by looking at partisan and party political issues more in-depth, and more currently. This book starts with the wonderful quote from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who once stated that all are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Fiorina walks a fine line between opinion and fact, and does so with skill.
The book goes through the midterm elections of 2002 for its data; hopefully an update will be forthcoming soon. Still, the closely divided nature of the country is still present throughout, a roughly 50/50 nation of red states and blue states, with plenty of blue in the red, and plenty of red in the blue. This is a key understanding for Fiorina - the nation... read more
When four black college students refused to leave the whites-only lunch counter of a Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth's on February 1, 1960, they set off a wave of similar protests among black ...