The Big Sort

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-05-11
  • Publisher: Houghton Miff

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The untold story of why America is so culturally and politically divided.America may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote as we do.We've built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood-and church and news show-most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people don't know and can't understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this groundbreaking work.In 2004, journalist Bill Bishop made national news in a series of articles when he coined the phrase "the big sort." Armed with original and startling demographic data, he showed how Americans have been sorting themselves over the past three decades into alarmingly homogeneous communities-not at the regional level, or the red- state/bluestate level, but at the micro level of city and neighborhood. In "The Big Sort" Bishop takes his analysis to a new level in a brilliantly reported book that makes its case from the ground up, starting with stories about how we live today, and then drawing on history, economics, and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big-picture accounts of America in recent memory."The Big Sort" will draw comparisons to Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone" and Richard Florida's "The Rise of the Creative Class" and will redefine the way Americans think about themselves for decades to come.

Author Biography

BILL BISHOP was a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman when he began research on city growth and political polarization with the sociologist and statistician Robert Cushing. Bishop has worked as a columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader, and, with his wife, owned and operated the Bastrop County Times, a weekly newspaper in Smithville, Texas. He lives in Austin.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
The Power of Place
The Age of Political Segregationp. 19
The Politics of Migrationp. 41
The Psychology of the Tribep. 58
The Silent Revolution
Culture Shift: The 1965 Unravelingp. 81
The Beginning of Division: Beauty and Salvation in 1974p. 105
The Economics of the Big Sort: Culture and Growth in the 1990sp. 129
The Way We Live Today
Religion: The Missionary and the Megachurchp. 159
Advertising: Grace Slick, Tricia Nixon, and Youp. 182
Lifestyle: "Books, Beer, Bikes, and Birkenstocks"p. 196
The Politics of People Like Us
Choosing a Sidep. 221
The Big Sort Campaignp. 249
To Marry Your Enemiesp. 276
Afterwordp. 305
Acknowledgmentsp. 311
Notesp. 314
Selected Bibliographyp. 341
Indexp. 354
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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