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Other titles in the Great Questions in Politics series:
Culture War? the Myth of a Polarized America (3RD 11 Edition)by Morris P. Fiorina
Synopses & Reviews
What Culture War?
Abortion, Gay Marriage, School Prayer, Gun Control
Is the nation really polarized on these hot-button moral, religious, and cultural issues? Should we believe the media pundits and politicians who tell us that Americans are deeply divided?
No, says Morris Fiorina. At a time when the rift between the “red” and “blue” states can seem deeper than ever, Fiorina debunks the assumption that Americans are deeply split over national issues. He presents quite a contrary picture — that most Americans stand in the middle of the political landscape and are in general agreement even on those issues thought to be most divisive.
Poking holes in the concept of a “culture war,” Fiorina explains that the majority of Americans are both moderate and tolerant, and that their greatest concerns are leadership and security, not moral values. Supporting his position with election data and a variety of public surveys, Fiorina concludes that the view of a divided America is simply false and that by recognizing our common ground, we have a basis for creating a more unified and moderate approach to government and politics in the near future.
A new epilogue relates the 2008 campaign and election to the general argument of the book, looking at the people and issues affecting the road to the White House in 2008, and speculating on what lies ahead for (un)polarized America.
Morris P. Fiorina is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. His work has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and he is the author of several books, including Divided Government and The New American Democracy.
When Patrick Buchanan took the stage at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and proclaimed, There is a religious war going on for the soul of our country,” his audience knew what he was talking about: the culture wars, which had raged throughout the previous decade and would continue until the centurys end, pitting conservative and religious Americans against their liberal, secular fellow citizens. It was an era marked by polarization and posturing fueled by deep-rooted anger and insecurity.
Buchanans fiery speech marked a high point in the culture wars, but as Andrew Hartman shows in this richly analytical history, their roots lay farther back, in the tumult of the 1960s—and their significance is much greater than generally assumed. Far more than a mere sideshow or shouting match, the culture wars, Hartman argues, were the very public face of Americas struggle over the unprecedented social changes of the period, as the cluster of social norms that had long governed American life began to give way to a new openness to different ideas, identities, and articulations of what it meant to be an American. The hot-button issues like abortion, affirmative action, art, censorship, feminism, and homosexuality that dominated politics in the period were symptoms of the larger struggle, as conservative Americans slowly began to acknowledge—if initially through rejection—many fundamental transformations of American life.
As an ever-more partisan but also an ever-more diverse and accepting America continues to find its way in a changing world, A War for the Soul of America reminds us of how we got here, and what all the shouting has really been about.
Package consists of:
0205518079 / 9780205518074 Is Voting for Young People? With a Postscript on Citizen Engagement (Great Questions in Politics Series)
0205779883 / 9780205779888 Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America
0205780164 / 9780205780167 New American Democracy, The
About the Author
Andrew Hartman is associate professor of history at Illinois State University and the author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Third Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the First Edition
1. Culture War?
2. If America is not Polarized, Why Do So Many Americans Think it is?
3. A 50:50 Nation? Red and Blue State People are Not That Different.
4. A 50:50 Nation? Beyond the Red and the Blue States.
5. A Closer Look at Abortion.
6. A Closer Look at Homosexuality.
7. Have Electoral Cleavages Shifted?
8. The 2004 Election and Beyond.
9. Reconciling Micro and Macro.
10. How Did It Come to This and Where Do We Go From Here?
Epilogue. The Road to and from 2008
What Our Readers Are Saying
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