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Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics (The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture Series)

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ISBN-13: 978-0806140742
ISBN-10: 0806140747
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Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics (The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture Series) + The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization, and American Democracy
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“An important contribution to a lively public and scholarly debate about the extent, sources, and consequences of polarization in contemporary American politics.”—Political Science Quarterly


“First-rate political science. . . . Fiorina has once again defined research for another generation of political scientists. Highly recommended.”—Choice

About the Author

Morris P. Fiorina is the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.



Samuel J. Abrams is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University and a Fellow at the Hamilton Center for Political Economy, New York University.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lecture Series (Book 11)
  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (November 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806140747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806140742
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By L. Drutman on March 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For those who view themselves as political moderates, these are troubling times. Despite the renewed calls to bipartisanship and civility, the reality is that the two parties in Congress are very far apart from each other and continue to show every sign of being far more eager to engage in partisan flame-throwing than in bipartisan problem-solving.

And yet: how did things get to be this way? And what about the supposedly moderate public: how and why do they stand for this? To understand these questions, a good place to start is Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics, by Morris P. Fiorina, a professor of Political Science at Stanford University.

Disconnect is essentially a book in two parts. The first is an extensive compendium of data in support of the claim that there is indeed a widening disconnect between a largely moderate voting public and an ideological polarized political class. The second part is the story of how that disconnect came about.

Just how moderate the public actually is turns out to be a matter of some debate in political science circles. An alternate view - and useful foil for discussing Fiorina's book - is Alan Abramowitz's The Disappearing Center (which I reviewed here), which makes the case the current polarization reflects the fact that Americans have sorted into two distinct ideological camps, and that politicians are polarized because the public is polarized (and representative democracy is therefore alive and well.)

Fiorina sees it differently: "The orientation [of the public] is more pragmatic," he writes. "Far more people position themselves on the issues on a case-by-case basis rather than deduce their specific positions from some abstract principle....
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd Phillips on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Morris Fiorina does an absolutely stellar job researching and presenting the reasons why America is polarized and why so many people feel alienated by politics. It is full of history, facts and figures, graphs, and current examples from politics today. The only problem is his writing style is very academic and difficult to read. It took me a surprisingly long time to finish what is not a lenghy book. Nevertheless, I'm thankful he wrote it and look forward to more from him.
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By Kerrie A. McCormick on March 23, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a bit of a centrist, I have long felt marginalized in the current political arena. I no longer feel alone.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lys Winters on January 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had to get this for my Grad class and it is a very good read and easy. I like it!!!!!
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