Divided America

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart – America is changing, but according to Bill Bishop where you’ve decided to live is probably becoming more culturally and politically homogeneous. We are increasingly sorting ourselves into cultural bubbles and are unable to understand those who live in other areas of the country. We now move to the place that agrees with us the most. The implications for our country are huge. If we don’t know each other, how can we expect to collaborate for the common good? 

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion – We often have different ideas about how to do things, how to govern, etc. But why are we so divided? Why can’t we reach at least some common ground? Jonathan Haidt explores the different moral intuitions we have as humans, and as cultures, and explains how our differing world views can create such divisions. He then goes further to explain that the other root of our division is our instinct to group, to be a part of a tribe. He implores us to listen to each other, no matter how uncomfortable that may be. 

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America – American Nations is a history of the different cultural foundings of the United States. Colin Woodard explores the positives and negatives that each cultural area brought to the United States and explains why this caused many of the divisions that persist to this day. Our divisions may have started long ago. 

Further reading:

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment


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