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Prius or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide Kindle Edition
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“An exceptionally insightful and entertaining exploration of the roots of tribalism in American (and European) society and politics, and its ominous consequences for democracy. Prius or Pickup? deserves a wide readership.”
—Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
“Hetherington and Weiler hit the sweet spot in writing political science for a broad audience. Their book is authoritative, terrifically engaging, and profoundly important.”
—Larry Bartels, May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science, Vanderbilt University
“Hetherington and Weiler's use of four simple questions to explain Americans' relationship to politics and each other triggered a fundamental shift in my understanding of U.S. politics. Now they have transformed those ideas into an interesting, readable book. I highly recommend it to anyone trying to figure out what's really behind these turbulent political times.”
—Amanda Taub, Columnist, New York Times
“Hetherington and Weiler’s terrific book reveals how our political thinking is based on worldviews—outlooks which can be quickly and easily ascertained by responses to a few non-political questions. By understanding this phenomenon, hopefully we can someday alleviate the polarization that currently plagues our politics. The fate of our democracy probably depends on our doing so!”
—John W. Dean, former Nixon White House counsel and New York Times best-selling author of Conservatives Without Conscience
“Today’s Republican voters are very afraid of what they see as a dangerous world, reveals Prius or Pickup? But who, exactly, has sought to intensify their anxiety—and to achieve what? This is the troubling question that will stay with readers of Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler’s book, whose sequel could be titled, Cui Bono? For as the authors point out, scared people are more willing to approve violations of democratic ideals. Who, then, does such fear help?”
—Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
About the Author
Marc Hetherington is the Raymond Dawson Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of three previous books, including Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics (co-authored with Jonathan Weiler) and Why Washington Won’t Work: Polarization, Political Trust, and the Governing Crisis (with Thomas J. Rudolph), which won the Alexander George Award from the International Society of Political Psychology. Also winner of the Emerging Scholar Award from the Elections, Public Opinion, and Voting Behavior section of the American Political Science Association, he and his work have been widely cited in mainstream media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and elsewhere. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Jonathan Weiler is Director of Undergraduate Studies and a professor in Global Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his Ph.D. in political science. In addition to Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics (co-authored with Marc Hetherington), he is the author of Human Rights in Russia: A Darker Side of Reform and, with Anne Menkens, Divorce: A Love Story. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
- ASIN : B078FH3BC6
- Publisher : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (October 9, 2018)
- Publication date : October 9, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 7940 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 289 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #567,204 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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That’s the sort of thing Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler overlook. It’s a fundamental misconception of who we are. If you begin with a flawed thesis, the result is a well-researched, erroneous conclusion. From the birth of our nation, worldview has played a significant role in politics and there’ve been political divisions, but the authors explain how various polls, studies and other statistics indicate: “the worldview divide has the potential to imperil American democracy… Many commentators, particularly on the left but more than a few on the right as well, have expressed this fear about Donald Trump.” Please note there’s a clear favoring of one president over another from the introduction on.
Throughout the pages of this book, I wondered who took part in questionnaires, polls and studies conducted by these and other political scientists or think tanks? People stopped on the street? Solicited online? The four questions that explain America’s “great divide” ask parents what qualities they believe are more desirable in their children: independence vs. respect for elders, obedience vs. self-reliance, curiosity vs. good manners, and being considerate vs. being well behaved. Were there any parents who would not choose one trait over another, considering all of them important? Did their studies include people who aren’t parents? It doesn’t matter, because those questions aren’t the crux of their message.
The entire book is dedicated to unapologetic “profiling”. People on the right (fixed) tend towards the familiar and predictable, safety and order, are warier of change, more suspicious of outsiders, and are more likely to drive a pickup truck and eat classic, American foods. Note: they say most ethnic folks are fixed, because [they claim] ethnic groups self-segregate. People on the left (fluid) find social and cultural changes appealing, feel excited by things that are new and novel, “are open to, and welcoming of, people who look and sound different”, and are more likely to drive a Prius and eat exotic meals. Moderates (mixers) aren’t really in the middle, the authors say, but instead tend toward one direction or another. Fluid folks live in urban areas. Fixed folks live in suburbs and rural areas. Presumably mixers live everywhere; it isn’t made clear.
None of which begins to recognize the complexity of human beings… in the U.S. or anywhere else on earth. On my street, in a small town tucked into a rural county, with many cultures, ethnicities, ages and socio-economic ranges, neighbors chat, kids skateboard and ride bikes, and radios play everything from rap to country, mariachi to vintage rock. There are trucks and hybrids, but mostly sedans and SUVs. Therefore, to me, this book is an epic fail with a clear agenda. It’s part of the problem. NOT a solution. I’m giving the authors credit for mountains of “research”, but wish they’d have spent some time with people, getting to know them outside of a laboratory or computer screen, as they would friends or neighbors.