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Why We're Polarized

Category: Book
By (author): Klein, Ezra
Subject:  HISTORY / United States / 21st Century
  NON-FICTION / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / American Government / National
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Conservatism & Liberalism
Publisher: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
Published: January 2020
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 1.10in
Our Price:
$ 37.00
Availability:
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*America's political system isn't broken. The truth is scarier: it's working exactly as designed. In this book, journalist Ezra Klein reveals how that system is polarizing us-and how we are polarizing it-with disastrous results.

"The American political system-which includes everyone from voters to journalists to the president-is full of rational actors making rational decisions given the incentives they face," writes political analyst Ezra Klein. "We are a collection of functional parts whose efforts combine into a dysfunctional whole."

In Why We're Polarized, Klein reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America's descent into division and dysfunction. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump's rise to the Democratic Party's leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture.

America is polarized, first and foremost, by identity. Everyone engaged in American politics is engaged, at some level, in identity politics. Over the past fifty years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. These merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together.

Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the twentieth century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarized political identities and polarized political institutions that are driving our system toward crisis.

This is a revelatory book that will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.
Review Quote*"The story of this impeachment is the story of American politics today: polarization. It affects almost every aspect of American political life and has been studied by scholars from many different angles, with dozens of good historical and experimental approaches. Wouldn't it be great if someone would digest all these studies, synthesize them and produce a readable book that makes sense of it all? Ezra Klein has done just that with his compelling new work, Why We're Polarized. It is likely to become the political book of the year…. Powerful [and] intelligent." -Fareed Zakaria
Review Quote*"Few books are as well-matched to the moment of their publication as Ezra Klein's Why We're Polarized. . . . Klein's careful book explains how different groups of Americans can see politics through such different lenses, examining how various psychological mechanisms allow committed partisans to rationalize almost anything their party does. . . . This book fully displays the attributes that have made Klein's journalism so successful." -Dan Hopkins, Washington Post
Review Quote*"Why We're Polarized delivers. . . . What Klein adds especially to [is] our understanding of how we got here-why Trump is more a vessel for our division than the cause, and why his departure will not provide any magical cure. . . . A thoughtful, clear and persuasive analysis." -Norman Ornstein, New York Times Book Review
Review Quote*"Superbly researched and written . . . Why We're Polarized provides a highly useful guide to this most central of political puzzles, digesting mountains of social science research and presenting it in an engaging form. . . . An overall outstanding volume." -Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post
Review Quote*"Brilliant and wide-ranging. A book about what just might be our central, perhaps fatal problem. This is the kind of book you find yourself arguing with out loud as you read it and will stick in your head long after you've finished. Absolutely crucial for understanding this perilous moment." -Chris Hayes, host of "All In with Chris Hayes" on MSNBC and author of A Colony in a Nation
Review Quote*"A fascinating book, rich in politics, history, psychology and more." -David Leonhardt, New York Times
Review Quote*"In this thoughtful exploration of American politics, Ezra Klein challenges the conventional wisdom about why and and how recently we've come apart, and suggests that the fantasy of some unified American middle is perhaps at odds with the ongoing fight for truly representational politics. Why We're Polarized makes the compelling case that the centuries-long battle to perfect our union means we were built to be split; Klein's provocative question is whether America's democratic systems and institutions can bear up under the weight of our divides." -Rebecca Traister, New York Times bestselling author of Good and Mad
Review Quote* "Something has gone terribly wrong with American politics in the last decade or so, and Klein gives us the clearest and most comprehensive analysis I have seen. He shows how we entered the realm of political ‘mega identity politics,' and how feedback loops between our tribal psychology and our rapidly evolving media ecosystem may be driving our democracy over a cliff. The book reviews so many studies that in lesser hands it would earn the label ‘wonkish,' but Klein's writing is so good that it is a joy to read, even as you experience a range of negative emotions from what you are reading." -Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, New York University-Stern School of Business, author of The Righteous Mind, Co-author of The Coddling of the American Mind 
Review Quote*"A sharp explanation of how American politics has become so discordant . . . Deeply insightful . . . A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape." -Kirkus Reviews (starred review)