Review: Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State–Why Americans Vote the Way They Do

3 Star, Politics

red stateSave your money–should have stayed an article, August 24, 2008

Andrew Gelman

This book is fine as far as it goes–the author provides a mind-numbing sequence of chapters, charts, and maps showing that rich states do not vote the way rich individuals do, and poor states do not vote the way poor individuals do.

Unfortunately, while he has a point and it is a useful important point, that is as far as the book gets. I was hoping for something much more nuanced, something that focused on all of the issues the way Paul Ray does, or Yankelovich or Weiss. This book focuses on religion and income–that’s it.

I found two statements worth noting.

Page 23: “…the country is polarized in two ways, *economically* between the rich and the poor, and *culturally* between upper-income Americans in red and blue areas.” [Emphasis in original as italics.]

Page 177: “We need to move beyond stereotypes of income and place in order to understand how Americans of different backgrounds, attitudes, and cultures express their views in the electoral process.”

Duh. The last sentence is the book, above, is what I thought this book was going to be about. Not so. Nor do the terms electoral reform or Congressional corruption appear in this book.

Much more important books you can spend money on (I have reviewed all):
The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
The Clustering of America
Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization
Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It
Breach of Trust: How Washington Turns Outsiders Into Insiders
The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism
The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead
The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back