Prominent Democratic political consultant and pollster Schoen (Penn, Schoen, and Berland Assocs.) has been on better than a book-a-year pace over the past five years, analyzing contemporary U.S. politics in titles from Declaring Independence: The Beginning of the End of the Two-Party System (2008) to Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System (2011). Now, in his analysis of the rise of right- and left-wing populism and the corresponding decline of the political center, he declares that we have become “essentially Two Americas: the political class and the American mainstream,” a circumstance rooted in abuses in campaign finance, lobbying, and gerrymandering. Verdict Schoen’s latest critique of America’s ailing democracy carries weight owing to his insider status and clear and succinct writing style. The book may seem repetitive to readers who have encountered Schoen in the past. Those who have not will find this a solid nonpartisan analysis of our current political dysfunction. (Library Journal)
Doug Schoen has written an insightful book on the polarization that has divided our political system and divided America. Schoen offers a real-world analysis of why this is happening and what can be done about it. Hopelessly Divided reveals just how dysfunctional Washington has become—and just how important the 2012 elections are. (Michael R. Bloomberg, 108th Mayor of New York City)
Doug Schoen is one of our most insightful analysts and Hopelessly Divided analyzes the divisions in American politics and offers a step forward. I may not always agree with Schoen’s conclusions but I’ve always known him to be honest and a straight shooter. This is one of those books that is definitely worth reading to understand the 2012 election.
Hopelessly Divided could well become the definitive work explaining why America has become so polarized and it offer a real world assessment of what we need to do to fix our politics. Doug Schoen combines the unique mix of high level practical experience and sophisticated analytical tools to address the central question facing our dysfunctional political system. (Joe Trippi, author of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything)
In a book that should be an important part of the national debate, Schoen offers a wide and challenging view of the changing landscape of our public square. While I disagree at critical points—on President Obama's role, on many of the Democratic campaigns since 1972, on the efficacy of progressive populism—anyone who cares about politics should read this provocative, intensely argued brief for a new ideology of centrism. I loved fighting with this book. (Robert M. Shrum, University of Southern California, Dornsife)