Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the

Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the "Real" America

by Dante Chinni, James Gimpel


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A revolutionary new way to understand America's complex cultural and political landscape, with proof that local communities have a major impact on the nation's behavior-in the voting booth and beyond.

In a climate of culture wars and tremendous economic uncertainty, the media have often reduced America to a simplistic schism between red states and blue states. In response to that oversimplification, journalist Dante Chinni teamed up with political geographer James Gimpel to launch the Patchwork Nation project, using on-the-ground reporting and statistical analysis to get past generalizations and probe American communities in depth. The result is Our Patchwork Nation, a refreshing, sometimes startling, look at how America's diversities often defy conventional wisdom.

Looking at the data, they recognized that the country breaks into twelve distinct types of communities, and old categories like "soccer mom" and "working class" don't matter as much as we think. Instead, by examining Boom Towns, Evangelical Epicenters, Military Bastions, Service Worker Centers, Campus and Careers, Immigration Nation, Minority Central, Tractor Community, Mormon Outposts, Emptying Nests, Industrial Metropolises, and Monied Burbs, the authors demonstrate the subtle distinctions in how Americans vote, invest, shop, and otherwise behave, reflect what they experience on their local streets and in their daily lives. Our Patchwork Nation is a brilliant new way to debate and examine the issues that matter most to our communities, and to our nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781592405732
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/30/2010
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 9.54(w) x 11.74(h) x 1.12(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dante Chinni, since the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, has been the correspondent for the Patchwork Nation project, a collaboration among The Christian Science Monitor, PBS NewsHour, and PBS member stations that is funded by the Knight Foundation. He has covered politics and the media for more than a decade and his work has appeared in Newsweek, The New Republic, The Washington Post Magazine, and other publications.

James Gimpel, Ph.D. is a professor of government at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth about the Real America 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
bookworx on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well framed discussion of regional diversity & complexity. Great example of the beauty of data fields. Confirms basic instincts of social fabric. Media leaning rubric. A little like a Fodors guide to the USA. Adding a chapter or anchoring with a world view would have made this work much more useful.
catwak More than 1 year ago
If your politics are to the left of center and you consider yourself to have a social conscience, I think you'll find these statistics close to terrifying. I finished this book with a new appreciation for the community where I've lived for almost 40 years -- one that is more inclusive and tolerant than most of the types discussed in this book.
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LordVader More than 1 year ago
I bought this book yesterday afternoon and I am on page 98. Not an absolute page turner that keeps you up into the early morning hours, but nevertheless an interesting look at these United States.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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