Why We're Polarized

Why We're Polarized

Discover how American politics became a toxic system, why we participate in it, and what it means for our future--from journalist, political commentator, and cofounder of Vox, Ezra Klein.

After Election Day 2016, both supporters and opponents of the soon-to-be president hailed his victory as a historically unprecedented event. Most Americans could agree that no candidate like Donald Trump had ever been elected President before. But political journalist Ezra Klein makes the case that the 2016 election wasn't surprising at all. In fact, Trump's electoral victory followed the exact same template as previous elections, by capturing a nearly identical percentage of voter demographics as previous Republican candidates.

Over the past 50 years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. Those merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together.

In this groundbreaking book, Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the 20th century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and each other. And he traces the feedback loops between our polarized political identities and our polarized political institutions that are driving our political system towards crisis.

Neither a polemic nor a lament, Klein offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump's rise to the Democratic Party's leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. A revelatory book that will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.

Title:Why We're Polarized
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781476700328
Format Type:

    Why We're Polarized Reviews

  • Michael

    Why Were Polarized sets out to succinctly break down why American politics has become so dysfunctional over the past forty years. The book begins by offering an oversimplified account of the fall of t...

  • David Wineberg

    Politics uses us for its own endsThere are endless shelves of books on what has happened to politics in the USA, culminating in the rule of Trump. Most of them hit on polarization sooner or later. Ezr...

  • Raymond

    My review is also published on Medium: https://medium.com/ballasts-for-the-m...I've been waiting for this book ever since Ezra Klein first mentioned he was working on it during one of his podcast epis...

  • Trish

    Ezra Klein does pick a side, but his great gift is disengagement to the extent we can see how ordinary Americans got to where they are ideologically. It is not enough to point to our sources of news a...

  • Mehrsa

    I really like Ezra Klein--he's a really smart and generous guy. This book is calm and it's insightful and it really points to some of the troubling polarizations of our era. And in explaining them, he...

  • Dee Arr

    What began as a mostly balanced examination of why Americans are polarized transformed into multiple attacks on everything on the Right. It was almost as if two books had been written.In the first hal...

  • Jason Furman

    The mere existence of Ezra Kleins outstanding and compulsively readable account of the rise and consequences of polarization is a paradox. Klein creatively synthesizes a wide range of social science l...

  • Radiantflux

    12th book for 2020.Ezra Klein's new book offers a fascinating deep dive into the reasons for America's increasingly polarized political discourse. According to Klein, polarization in American politics...

  • Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin

    Ezra Klein surveys quite a bit of political science and political psychology literature to explain the partisan polarization of the past fifty years. The key is identity not identity in terms of spec...

  • Linda

    I have read many books that attempt to explain the current nightmare of American politics.Klein's book is one of the best. It is well researched and accessible. He provides a clear comprehensivehistor...