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Why We're Polarized

Ezra Klein

$32.99

Paperback

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Profile
04 August 2020
History; 21st century history: from c 2000 -; Social, group or collective psychology; Political parties
The New York Times bestseller The Wall Street Journal Bestseller 'Few books are as well-matched to the moment of their publication as Ezra Klein's Why We're Polarised.' - Dan Hopkins, The Washington Post 'It is likely to become the political book of the year. Powerful [and] intelligent.' - Fareed Zakaria, CNN 'Superbly researched and written...' - Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post 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 polarising us -and how we are polarising 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 Polarised, 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 politicisation of everyday culture.

America is polarised, 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 polarised around identity in the twentieth century, and what that polarisation did to the way we see the world and one another. And he traces the feedback loops between polarised political identities and polarised 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.
By:   Ezra Klein
Imprint:   Profile
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   409g
ISBN:   9781788166782
ISBN 10:   1788166787
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   04 August 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Ezra Klein is the editor-at-large and cofounder of Vox, the award-winning explanatory news organisation. Launched in 2014, Vox reaches more than 50 million people across its platforms each month. Klein is also the host of the podcast the Ezra Klein Show, co-host of the Weeds podcast, and an executive producer on Vox's Netflix show, Explained. Previously, Klein was a columnist and editor at The Washington Post, a policy analyst at MSNBC, and a contributor to Bloomberg.

Reviews for Why We're Polarized

Even at his most wonky, a deep strain of humanism runs through [Klein's] journalism and that infuses his new book, Why We're Polarized. -- Krista Tippett * On Being * By weaving together a composite of group psychological theory and political history in the trademark, rigorously logical style of Vox's Explainer series, journalism, Klein traces the path of polarization from a time when the Republican and Democratic parties were virtually indistinguishable from each other to today. -- Emma Levy * Seattle Times * Eye-opening . . . Klein's brilliant diagnosis and prescription provide a path to understanding--and healing. * O Magazine * It's been a long time since I learned so much from one book. He shows just how broken the American political system is. -- Rutger Bregman author of * Utopia for Realists * In this thoughtful exploration of American politics, Ezra Klein challenges the conventional wisdom about why 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 * 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 * CNN * Well worth reading. -- Andrew Sullivan * New York Magazine * 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 * A fascinating book, rich in politics, history, psychology and more. -- David Leonhardt * New York Times * 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 *


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