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Why Americans Hate Politics

"A well-written and educational (but somewhat dated..."



by 1 Jurors

All over the United States, Americans are deserting the political process. Why? In this national bestseller, one of our shrewdest political observers traces thirty years of volatile political history and finds that on point after point, liberals and conservatives are framing issues as a series of "false choices," making it impossible for politicians to solve problems, and alienating voters in the process. Now with a new afterword discussing the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and the 1992 presidential election, Dionne explores what has gone wrong with the American system and offers a back-to-basics approach to politics designed to respond to the anger of America's restive majority.

From Publishers Weekly
This National Book Award nominee is a valuable analysis of the major ideological currents in American politics over the last 30 years.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal
Washington Post journalist Dionne argues that American liberal and conservative ideologies since the 1960s have presented the public with false choices, preventing the framing of issues in ways that are conducive to their resolution. He calls for a "new political center" that incorporates some ideas of both the political left and right. He also demands recognition of the importance of the principle of "republicanism," which he defines as including an acceptance of a largely market economy and a healthy, vital public sphere. Whether one accepts Dionne's premise that Americans hate politics or his prescription for curing that condition, the book is a valuable analysis of the major ideological currents in American politics over the last 30 years. Both informed lay readers and academics with an interest in political ideologies will find it stimulating. Recommended for public and university libraries.
- Thomas H. Ferrell, Univ. of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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This is a subjury for discussing things related to the ideology of Libertarianism. Generally this is more focused on Libertarianism within the United States which tends to be more fiscally conservativ...

img Jesse "Burgerm'n" Radin posted a review

E.J. Dionne's book "Why Americans Hate Politics" is well-written and educational without any major biases. Most of what is written is historical without embellishment. While lately he has written many rather biased online columns that have earned him (sometimes deserved) derision from conservative commenters whenever they spot his articles, this book is well-written, well-researched and unlike many similar political books from the 90s, it doesn't have cheesy jokes, outlandish opinions, or outrageous attacks on politicians or other pundits. 

It's a breath of fresh air when compared to books from people like Bill O'Reilly, Michael Moore, Ann Coulter, and Al Franken. However, while he provides the reader with a good description of various political movements from the 1940s to the late 1980s, his solutions seem rather short-sighted and idealistic.

A good example of this shows Dionne's over-simplification of public opinion polls. He stats that 60% of Americans identify as pro-choice, but that 60% of Americans also support things like parental notification and bans on late-term abortions, and thus there can be common ground on that normally divisve issue.

It doesn't detract from the reading experience, but this "solution" of his shows an ignorance of polls and percentages that leaves me dobuting whether he really knows what would work in the real world. Simply stating that 60% of Americans are in favor of two solutions does not mean that 60% of Americans FAVOR both of the solutions.

.6 * .6 = .36, or in other words: Assuming the two opinions are independent there is about a 36% chance that someone would be in favor of both solutions.

If he had more research other than a couple of cherry-picked polls to support his "third way" on abortion issues, I would be more inclined to show interest.

Overall, this is an interesting book and a good read if you're looking to get a good overview of the past 50-60 years of American politics. But if you're looking for solutions to the problems Dionne describes, you won't find too many here. It's up to us to find those solutions, I suppose. 

on October 26, 2015
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Why Americans Hate Politics

A well-written and educational (but somewhat dated) book about American politics.
Book rating: 64 out of 100 with 1 ratings