The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-minded America is Tearing Us Apart

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008 - Political Science - 370 pages
The untold story of why America is so culturally and politically divided

America may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote as we do. This social transformation didn't happed by accident. We've built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood -- and religion and news show -- most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people don't know and can't understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this groundbreaking work.

In 2004, the journalist Bill Bishop, armed with original and startling demographic data, made national news in a series of articles showing how Americans have been sorting themselves over the past three decades into alarmingly homogeneous communities -- not by region or by red state or blue state, but by city and even neighborhood. In The Big Sort, Bishop deepens his analysis in a brilliantly reported book that makes its case from the ground up, starting with stories about how we live today and then drawing on history, economics, and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big-picture accounts of America in recent memory.

The Big Sort will draw comparisons to Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone and Richard Florida's The Rise of the Creative Class and will redefine the way Americans think about themselves for decades to come.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Skybalon - LibraryThing

The author proves beyond a shadow of a doubt with well researched and documented evidence that "The Big Sort" is a real modern phenomenon. Where this book fails is proving that it is bad. There's some ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Miro - LibraryThing

In this interesting book Bill Bishop describes the polarization of American politics from 1965 onwards. He is fairly obviously a Democrat but goes out of his way to speak to new millennium Republicans ... Read full review

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The Age of Political Segregation
The Politics of Migration
The Psychology of the Tribe
The Silent Revolution
Culture Shift The 1965 Unraveling
The Beginning of Division Beauty and Salvation in 1974
The Economics of the Big Sort Culture and Growth in the 1990s
The Way We Live Today
Lifestyle Books Beer Bikes and Birkenstocks
The Politics of People Like Us
Choosing a Side
The Big Sort Campaign
To Marry Your Enemies
Selected Bibliography

Religion The Missionary and the Megachurch
Advertising Grace Slick Tricia Nixon and You

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About the author (2008)

Bill Bishop was a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman when he began research on city growth and political polarization with sociologist and statistician Robert Cushing. Bishop has worked as a columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader, and, with his wife, owned and operated The Bastrop County Times, a weekly newspaper in Smithville, Texas. He lives in Austin, Texas.

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