SOCIAL SCIENCES

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

Basic: Perseus. Jun. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781541644274. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781541644250. POL SCI
COPY ISBN
Rodden (political science, Stanford Univ.; Hamilton’s Paradox) looks beyond gerrymandering and voter suppression to offer a nuanced understanding of the Democratic Party’s inability to maintain majority representation despite consistently winning popular votes. At the heart of this issue, argues the author, is the contemporary U.S. urban-rural divide, which connects with the larger history of political geography beginning during the Second Industrial Revolution. By comparing countries with small winner-take-all districting vs. large proportional representation zones, Rodden’s well-researched narrative offers critical insights into why the U.S. government has become a rigid two-party system and how the geographical concentration of Democrats is undermining their ability to win elections. Many will find this helpful in explaining how the Republican and Democratic parties have grown so partisan, and may also serve to illuminate potential reforms that could alleviate urban-rural polarization.
VERDICT A timely and critical work that explains the ramifications of operating a winner-take-all election approach in U.S. state and federal districting.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month