The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded American is Tearing Us Apart

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded American is Tearing Us Apart

by Bill Bishop

Paperback(First Edition)

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In 2004, journalist Bill Bishop coined the term "the big sort." Armed with startling new demographic data, he made national news in a series of articles showing how Americans have been sorting themselves into alarmingly homogeneous communities -- not by region or by state, but by city and even neighborhood. Over the past three decades, we have been choosing the neighborhood (and church and news show) compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. The result is a country that has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred that people don't know and can't understand those who live a few miles away. How this came to be, and its dire implications for our country, is the subject of this ground-breaking work.

In The Big Sort, Bishop has taken his analysis to a new level. He begins with stories about how we live today and then draws on history, economics and our changing political landscape to create one of the most compelling big-picture accounts of America in recent memory.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547237725
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 05/11/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 239,903
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

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.

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The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded American is Tearing Us Apart 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
agingcow2345 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quite good if quirky demographics work that the author stretches WAY too far. Must be read with a critical eye but quite useful if you know how to do that.
LorinRicker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree... quirky. But having read it, I feel better equipped to understand and discuss various issues which confront us all. Understanding the "sorting behavior" of Americans (and others around the world?) at least helps to explain why things always feel so confrontational and unresolvable -- perhaps some solutions to this dilemma are implicit in the understanding of the phenomena. Reading this book along with Florida's "The Great Reset" helps put it into context. Then read Kiernan's "Authentic Patriotism" and Tapscott & Williams' "MacroWikinomics" for welcome antidotes.
kristenn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting but discouraging. The idea that almost no one believes in common ground any longer is pretty bleak. He seemed pretty even-handed. Openly liberal but repeatedly debunks the big anti-Republican conspiracy theories. And does a refreshingly nice job of never mocking his interview subjects. He certainly got Oregon right. Random interesting bits: The proportion of companies with employees from a wide range of educational backgrounds has dropped a lot over the last 50 years; that changes the diversity of experience and ideas we're exposed to. The more a city has in terms of culture and ethnic restaurants and creative-class jobs and such, the less people are socially connected (what a depressing trade-off!). The college kid who 'needed' to move from a general dorm to a special-interest one in order to 'find balance.' Very unhealthy. And apparently we have so little in common these days, that it's hard for the quiz shows to come up with questions that most contestants and the audience will understand.
maryslinde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that should have been a magzine article, not a book. The theory about where we live is impressive and interesting. The fact that he takes a whole book to say it is anything but impressive. Boring, boring, boring.
LoveHistoryVA More than 1 year ago
If you want to understand the growing partisanship in America, The Big Sort is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
should be read along with "The Second Civil War" as a manadtory requirement for all those in politics, religion and the media...maybe they will understand what harm they have done to this country and this democracy...
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