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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2018-10-09)
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Politics & government


How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide

by Hetherington, MarcWeiler, Jonathan

Two award-winning political scientists provide the psychological key to America's deadlocked politics, showing that we are divided not by ideologies but something deeper: personality differences that appear in everything from politics to parenting to the workplace to TV preferences, and which would be innocuous if only we could decouple them from our noxious political debate.

What's in your garage: a Prius or a pickup? What's in your coffee cup: Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? What about your pet: cat or dog? As award-winning political scholars Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler explain, even our smallest choices speak volumes about use - specially when it comes to our personalities and our politics. Liberals and conservatives seem to occupy different worlds because we have fundamentally different worldviews: systems of values that can be quickly diagnosed with a handful of simple parenting questions, but which shape our lives and decisions in the most elemental ways. If we're to overcome our seemingly intractable differences, Hetherington and Weiler show, we must first learn to master the psychological impulses that give rise to them, and to understand how politicians manipulate our mindsets for their own benefit.

Drawing on groundbreaking original research, Prius or Pickup? is an incisive, illuminating study of the fracturing of the American mind.

Marc Hetherington is a Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of three previous books, including the award-winning AUTHORITARIANISM AND POLARIZATION IN AMERICAN POLITICS, co-authored with Jonathan Weiler.
Jonathan Weiler is a professor of Global Studies at UNC and is also the author of HUMAN RIGHTS IN RUSSIA: A Darker Side of Reform.
Hetherington speaks globally, most recently in Israel, Switzerland, and at Oxford University. Weiler was a featured expert on Al Jazeera's The People vs. America, has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post since 2009, and has appeared many times on radio and TV including CNN, CBC, and the BBC to provide analysis of American politics and other subjects.

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Jonathan Weiler on how preferences become politics: Do you drive a Prius or a pickup truck? Prefer kids to be independent or respect elders? Jonathan Weiler tells Fareed what the answers say about your politics.

Quote: CNN's Inside Politics

In this fascinating look at contemporary politics, political scientists Hetherington and Weiler set out to explain what really causes the extreme political polarization seen today... The authors convincingly argue that the consequences of this polarization are deep and "toxic" in a book that will interest watchers of the political landscape of recent decades.

Review: Publishers Weekly

Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler's PRIUS OR PICKUP went to Number 1 on Amazon following an appearance Sunday by Jonathan on CNN's "Inside Politics"

Quote: Amazon

Hetherington and Weiler's terrific book reveals how our political thinking is based on worldviews - outlooks which can be quickly and easily ascertained by responses to a few non-political questions. By understanding this phenomenon, hopefully we can someday alleviate the polarization that currently plagues our politics. The fate of our democracy probably depends on our doing so!

Quote: John W. Dean, former Nixon White House counsel and author

A fascinating way to look at the fracturing of a nation presumed to be united... [Prius or Pickup?] speaks volumes about how we divide along many fronts, not least of them political.

Review: Kirkus Reviews

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