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Publisher's Summary

Our Divided Political Heart will be the must-listen book of the 2012 election campaign. Offering an incisive analysis of how hyper-individualism is poisoning the nation's political atmosphere, E. J. Dionne Jr. argues that Americans can't agree on who we are because we can't agree on who we've been, or what it is, philosophically and spiritually, that makes us Americans.

Dionne takes on the Tea Party's distortions of American history and shows that the true American tradition points not to radical individualism, but to a balance between our love of individualism and our devotion to community.

Dionne offers both a fascinating tour of American history - from the Founding Fathers to Clay and Lincoln and on to the Populists, the Progressives, and the New Dealers - and also an analysis of our current politics that shatters conventional wisdom. The true American idea, far from endorsing government inaction or indifference, has always viewed the federal government as an active and constructive partner with the rest of society in promoting prosperity, opportunity, and American greatness.

The ability of the American system to self-correct is its greatest asset, and Dionne challenges progressives to embrace the American story. Our fractious but productive past offers us the resources both to rediscover the idea of progress and to put an end to our fears of decline. Our Divided Political Heart will be required listening for all who seek a path out of our current impasse.

©2012 E.J. Dionne, Jr. (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Tea Partiers and Occupiers alike may be surprised and enlightened by this lucid analysis, all the more convincing for its sympathetic treatment of both sides of the argument." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Good points and lots of good information

Where does Our Divided Political Heart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book was full of information and insights which I found to be very interesting. That said, I am a huge early-American political thought nerd, and others might have found this level of detail and intricacy a bit difficult to grasp or at least be overwhelmed by all the little details that go into making what is a very nuanced argument. It might have been presented more concisely, but I like the book, I agree with the bulk of the author's insights and thought he explained it well and thoroughly and it was very well-thought-out.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great Review of U.S. Political History and Thought

E.J. Dionne writes in a clear, unadorned style. He presents a broad picture of all strains of American political theory. His analysis is fair but firm.

The narrator's voice and tone matched the content. Steady and strong. Light and conversational when he needed it.

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Narrator adds too much gravity

EJ Dionne regularly appears on talk radio. He has buoyancy and positive humor in his voice. This narrator was a little too grave.

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EJ allowed me to understand MY POLITICAL HEART

Book was great. I cant wait for next book to become available on listen too.

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A subject this dry could not have been done better

As much as I love to expand my brain by listening to books like this, I find most of them so boring I can't seem to focus long enough to learn anything. This book however did a great job at keeping things interesting enough to keep my focus, but without getting into a level of sensationalism that has destroyed cable news journalism over the past decade.

I also love how the author points out how both sides have helped cause harm to the political discord in this country. He doesn't stop at just throwing around accusations. There are real solutions here as well. This book is strongly recommended. I'm sure I will listen to it again when I am mentally ready for something this heavy. It seems like the kind of thing that could be listened to many times over and over again with each time the reader picking up new info missed every time before.

Highly recommended, but be ready to grab something light after.

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  • BucNasty
  • Houston, TX United States
  • 01-18-13

Recommend for anyone interested in politics

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Kramer reads it well and it is enjoyable to listen to. Despite Dionne's personal liberal bias, which he freely admits, the book is a fair look at the history of how we've arrived where we are now.

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

What about Michael Kramer’s performance did you like?

Voice was interesting to listen to. Very nice.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

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  • David
  • Colbert, WA, USA
  • 12-10-12

Great read, not so great listen

Would you listen to Our Divided Political Heart again? Why?

Yes. E.J. Dione presents a reasoned and knowledgeable analysis of the American Political scene that makes great sense in light of the wide-ranging grasp he presents of the forces contributing to the current divide. Unfortunately, after hearing the author often on televised interviews, I found Michael Kramer's narration disappointing, often monotonous, and frequently unable to keep me from falling asleep while listening. Perhaps the author's schedule prevented him from narrating his own work, but the narrator failed to share the author's passion for his work .

Who was your favorite character and why?

Likely F.D.R., as I gained new appreciation for his political skills from this listen.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Michael Kramer?

Not likely

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  • Jean
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 09-17-12

Must-read

What made the experience of listening to Our Divided Political Heart the most enjoyable?

A great perspective on American political history

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

A fascinating take on how we got to this disturbingly polarized political landscape

What does Michael Kramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He's a great reader, and makes challenging material very accessible

Any additional comments?

Whether you agree or disagree with this notion of an imbalance of our historically conflicting tendencies of individualism vs. more community-focused policymaking, books like this need to be read by more people so we can at least begin to have a civilized conversation around our differences instead of the current winner-take-all bloodletting style of politics

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheldon
  • Williamsville, NY, United States
  • 08-01-12

Great description of the current political field

Would you consider the audio edition of Our Divided Political Heart to be better than the print version?

Yes it was quite thrilling to read this great book, I enjoyed it considerably.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Points of view. Yes it was quite thrilling to read this great book, I enjoyed it considerably.

Which character – as performed by Michael Kramer – was your favorite?

Obama. Yes it was quite thrilling to read this great book, I enjoyed it considerably.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes it was quite thrilling to read this great book, I enjoyed it considerably.

Any additional comments?

Yes it was quite thrilling to read this great book, I enjoyed it considerably.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful