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Publisher's Summary

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 neighborhoods (and churches and news shows) compatible with our lifestyles 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 groundbreaking 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.

©2008 Bill Bishop (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Complex and surprising.... A book posing hard questions for readers across the political spectrum." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Outdated in 2018

Outdated in 2018, did not find it particularly insightful or compelling. Was probably a better read 10 years ago when written

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A little dated but still relevant

The best explanation I have yet read concerning how our nation evolved into what it is today.

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Excellent book, but repetitive at times

interesting and informative. However, the author seems oddly hung up on religion - he seems desperate to categorize religion as a good, and to deny that the left is becoming less religious. He also seems to have a bias in favor of a strong central government, and laments that the tides seem to be going the other way. Finally, the narrator is very slow. Would play at ~1.2x.

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Everyone has something to learn from this book

I think everyone could learn something from this book. It is full of information on how we’ve sorted ourselves, and how that effects our daily lives. Highly recommend it.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Wandering biopic of Boomer politics

I liked the historic, religious, demographic and political sorting anecdotes. I didn't like the use of percentages of change without scope. For example, if votes for LGBT rights doubled then what percentage of all voters did that result in? The book is very long to make a point that could've been made more efficiently with graphics using census and voting data. Every generation may think they have invented sex because they don't discuss it with parents. Sorting isn't new, might be more pronounced thanks to a shrinking world.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful