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Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A prizewinning political scientist traces the origins of urban-rural political conflict and shows how geography shapes elections in America and beyond

Why is it so much easier for the Democratic Party to win the national popular vote than to build and maintain a majority in Congress? Why can Democrats sweep statewide offices in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan yet
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published June 4th 2019 by Basic Books
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Soren Dayton
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really valuable book about urban/rural political divides in the US and the anglosphere. Makes some wonderful comparative points about why the European democracies turned to proportional representation and why the US didn't. It makes a compelling argument that advocates of redistricting reform will get less than they think, which is consistent with other political science work.

Well worth the read.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some of it is a bit heckling and other a bit repetitive. The entire quagmire is neither black or white; suburban, city or county; slavery, farming or industry--It is more complicated but this book is a good start.
Mannie Liscum
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Jonathan Rodden’s “Why Cities Lose” is a tremendous piece of scholarly work; written concisely and accessibly for a lay audience without sacrificing any of the facts and figures (quite literally) that might oft mire down a book like this. As an academic I was enthralled by the data Rodden expertly presented and analyzed. His presentation of text and data is clear. He explains the way data were collected and how he interprets them, while also providing them for the reader to interpret ...more
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book started a bit slowly for me. The first few chapters largely comprise a history of how the United States came to have mostly Democrats in urban locations and along nineteenth-century railroad lines: fine but not particularly new material. The author also has a penchant for calling an excessive number of things "striking" or "remarkable" or "fascinating," which was a bit wearing.

As the book progresses, though, and Rodden talks more about his own academic work examining political
Mike Stolfi
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
So historically the problem goes beyond gerrymandering & for those who believe in "the rational man" it looks like the data points more towards geographical convenience than planned development these days. The comparisons w/the U.K. & Australia are telling.
Sasha Degtereva
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Jim Twombly
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An evidenced-based discussion of our current politics, from a different point of view. (see a forthcoming review in Choice Magazine)
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