Klein goes on to advise that all politics is influenced by identity and that this book is not really about people, altho’ there are LOTS of debuggings about hot topics. They are all presented, as is this entire volume, in a calm, rational and reasoned manner. There’s no slanting in either direction that I noticed. The book is about “systems”, mostly political systems. Have you wondered just HOW we’ve ended up in this debacle in which we find ourselves? How did the Dems and GOP become so far left and right as to be almost off the proverbial chart? This book makes a fine effort to trace that migration.
Klein includes history in Part 1: How and Why American Politics Polarized Around Identity & What Polarization Did to the Way We See Each Other and the World. The bulk of this history focuses on the period from the 1950’s thru now but Klein does reference the founding fathers as needed and goes back to the 18th/19th centuries. His charts and graphs are very clear and the trends and turning points are quite visible. He is meticulous in laying out the groundwork.
Part 2: Feedback Loops Between Polarized Identities & Political Institutions That Are Driving Our political System to Crisis. In this section, the author is walking thru a minefield. He claims that “institutional donors are corrupting, small donors are polarizing ”. Klein goes on to tackle the effect of TV and other media, including the “Fox News Effect”. His heart and passion are evident as he discusses the changes of this profession he’s loved and been an active member of for the last 20+ years.
“There’s no real solutions, only corrections”, laments Klein. He goes on to urge readers to listen to and be involved in state and local politics using this stark statistic: “there are over 500,000 elected officials and only 527 are national” (that’s a whopping 1%) .
A book about how we got here. No snark, no partisanship and no histrionics. A well written discourse that debunks false statistics and encourages independent evaluation. Incredibly refreshing 📚