Caren's Reviews > Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the "Real" America

Our Patchwork Nation by Dante Chinni
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's review
Nov 21, 2010

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bookshelves: adult-nonfiction
Read in November, 2010

Some very interesting ideas here. Rather than the simplistic red state/blue state scenario, the authors have divided the country into twelve community types with representative examples of each. In the back of the book is a list of every county in the USA and the first and second choice of what type each may represent. The authors are quick to concede that life is more complex than twelve "types" can reveal, but upon looking at my own county, I thought their description was spot-on. The twelve types are:1) boom towns 2)campus and careers, emptying nests, evangelical epicenters, immigration nation, industrial metropolis, military bastions, minority central, monied burbs, Mormon outposts, service worker centers, and tractor country. After descriptions of the places used as examples of each type, the end of the book turns to an evaluation of what these communities may expect in future developments for their economy, political outlook and the culture of each place. The authors speak of the challenges and strengths for each type and make tentative predictions about directions each community could take. My only very small quibble is the poor editing of the book, leading to some awkward sentence structures and even a few words left out...The book is meant to impart information, though, so whether it is elegantly written is , in the end, of no great consequence.
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