• Why We're Polarized

  • By: Ezra Klein
  • Narrated by: Ezra Klein
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Why We're Polarized

By: Ezra Klein
Narrated by: Ezra Klein
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Publisher's Summary

A Barack Obama and a Bill Gates Summer Reading Pick 2022

A
New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller

America's political system isn't broken. The truth is scarier: it's working exactly as designed.

In Why We're Polarized, Ezra Klein reveals the structural and psychological forces behind America's deep political divisions, revealing how a system filled with rational, functional parts can combine into a dysfunctional whole. Neither a polemic nor a lament, this book offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump's rise to the Democratic Party's leftward shift to the politicisation of everyday culture.

Klein shows how and why American politics polarised in the twentieth century, what that polarisation did to Americans' views of the world and one another, and how feedback loops between polarised political identities and polarised political institutions drive the system toward crisis. This revelatory book will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Ezra Klein (P)2020 Hachette Audio UK

Critic Reviews

"This book helped me understand modern politics better." (Bill Gates, Summer Reading Pick 2022)

"Superbly researched and written." (Francis Fukuyama, The Washington Post)

"It's been a long time since I learned so much from one book." (Rutger Bregman author of Utopia for Realists)

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  • Jake carbone
  • 04-25-20

A great guide to modern politics

Anyone interested in understanding modern US politics or politics in general should read/listen to this. Ezra Klein expertly describes how our sense of identity and political systems have lead to a increasingly polarized America, and how this lead to Trump's election

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-20

The sincerity I’ve come to expect from Klein

After years of listening to Ezra on the Ezra Klein show on the Vox podcast I built a familiarity with his way of thinking.
It was refreshing to hear the fruits of his labor and analysis on such a systemic and often undocumented explanation for the times we live in. He presents his research and weedsy review of social and political polarisation with humour and sincerity.
His underlying points were centred around the unique American experiment and history of the last 70-80 years and offers critiques of his own industry and of himself in a careful and considered way.
He focussed on the differences between the two major parties, and the convergence of the 20th century and especially the Clinton era that saw politics become more zero sum than an egalitarian means for governing.
He outlines how sorting played a significant role in today’s polarized world. And also how identities are activated for political opportunism, how race and status mobilises the right while the left competing with a broader identity class struggles to be all things to more people.
He gave examples of group think that were quite telling showing examples how a group could disadvantage themselves just so as they appear to disadvantage out groups or others. Our tribal minds at work.
The expression of negative politics is stronger in mobilising groups than giving people something to vote for as fear of the other catalyses.
The cast of the other is a strong threat multiplier.
Overall a very good read. Enjoyed Ezra’s narration and would definitely recommend it to anyone concerned about the state of politics around the world and not just America.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-16-20

Fascinating and Insightful

I am from Australia and was intrigued and shocked in 2016 when Trump won the Presidential election. With my limited understanding of the American political system I couldn’t fathom how someone with Trumps repugnant character, morals and ideologies could make it to this position of power. This book has changed that. Ezra Klein effortlessly presents his incredible intelligence, experience and insights into this fascinating observation of the current political climate in the US. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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  • Cedric Hodges
  • 10-31-20

A bit preachy but pretty balanced and informative

Could get a bit preachy at times, but this was quite informative and did a reasonable job of holding the line.

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  • Elliott
  • 09-06-20

Insightful

Incredibly insightful book which provides an understanding of the complex structures such as the internet, media, race, demographic changes, political donations, and many other structures that interact with human psychology to cause the polarised nature of modern politics.