Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age - Second Edition (Russell Sage Foundation Co-pub)

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9780691181073: Unequal Democracy: The Political Economy of the New Gilded Age - Second Edition (Russell Sage Foundation Co-pub)
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An acclaimed examination of how the American political system favors the wealthy―now fully revised and expanded

The first edition of Unequal Democracy was an instant classic, shattering illusions about American democracy and spurring scholarly and popular interest in the political causes and consequences of escalating economic inequality. This revised, updated, and expanded second edition includes two new chapters on the political economy of the Obama era. One presents the Great Recession as a "stress test" of the American political system by analyzing the 2008 election and the impact of Barack Obama's "New New Deal" on the economic fortunes of the rich, middle class, and poor. The other assesses the politics of inequality in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2012 election, and the partisan gridlock of Obama’s second term. Larry Bartels offers a sobering account of the barriers to change posed by partisan ideologies and the political power of the wealthy. He also provides new analyses of tax policy, partisan differences in economic performance, the struggle to raise the minimum wage, and inequalities in congressional representation.

President Obama identified inequality as "the defining challenge of our time." Unequal Democracy is the definitive account of how and why our political system has failed to rise to that challenge. Now more than ever, this is a book every American needs to read.

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From the Back Cover:

"This book suggests that economists are wrong and that the growing inequality in America is not the product of world forces but of Republican administrations during which income grows more slowly, inequality soars, and no one notices because they pump up the economy during election years. If you care about economic justice, you need to seriously examine the powerful data in this book and recognize that we can choose a better, fairer society."--Robert D. Putnam, author ofBowling Alone

"This is a fantastic book, a real tour de force. It is a hugely important study of increasing economic inequality in America and the failure of the political system to mitigate its effects on poor citizens. It is the best work that has been done on the political economy of income inequality."--Thomas E. Patterson, Harvard University

"Unequal Democracycompletes the story of why America's wealthy have become superrich. As Larry Bartels, one of the nation's top political scientists, convincingly demonstrates, the rich get richer when the Republicans are in power and when the less affluent fail to vote. This book is essential reading for anyone who wants answers to why so many of America's working- and middle-class families are struggling to get by."SR: Note from editor:

"The book is exemplary throughout in its transparency with regard to the data and Bartels's analytic strategy for using them, in its attention to alternative explanations for a given outcome, and in its balance between not over-reaching and asserting a clear, controversial, and important thesis.... Full of evidence, insights, and surprises.... The book is never less than provocative and is often revelatory."--Gary Orfield, University of California, Los Angeles

"Unequal Democracyis the sort of book to which every political scientist should aspire--it is methodologically rigorous, conceptually serious, and above all, it addresses urgent concerns of our fellow citizens. As Bartels shows, much of what we think we know about the politics of economic inequality is dead wrong. Bartels's perplexing and often unexpected discoveries should help refocus the gathering public debate about inequality and what to do about it."--John J. DiIulio, Jr., University of Pennsylvania, former director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

"Unequal Democracyis a major landmark in political scientists' efforts to grapple with inequality."--Blake A. Ellis,Journal of Southern History

"No political scientist is more widely or rightly respected than Larry Bartels, andUnequal Democracyis a brilliant book that only he could have written. The book proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the main fault for sizable socioeconomic inequalities in America lies not in our economy but in our increasingly polarized and partisan politics. With intellectual force,Unequal Democracypulls back the sheets on Washington's pamper-the-rich policy process and offers ideas about how we can do better by average citizens and the poor. It is Bartels at his very best, and his very best is the best there is."Must retain Putnam, Mann, and Orfield blurbs on interior praise page

About the Author:

Larry M. Bartels holds the May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science at Vanderbilt University. His books include Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (with Christopher H. Achen) and Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice (both Princeton). He is a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation, a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

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