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I was very intrigued by the description of this book and all the "rave" reviews it has gotten, but once I got through 4 hours of it I couldn't stand it and turned the radio on. It started out well and I really enjoyed listening to how the demographics of the world has been changing, but it got stale after a while. It seemed like the same idea being expressed..... the world is changing.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
This book alternates between facinating and infuriating. The author's thesis that America is hardly a melting pot, but a pointalism painting that must be examined on the small-scale to be appreciated as a whole is rivetting and enlightening. However, the slightest knowledge of statistics, research methods, or polling methods makes his use of numbers and polls down-right frustrating. He never really properly addresses the problems of bias, skewed results, or problems with the ways questions are formed. And while many of his assertions are interesting, some of them are too hastily made (and many are down-right silly), which distracts from the overall message. However, by ignoring his playing fast and loose with numbers and rush to hypothesis, it's a great book. In other words, if your looking for an interesting introduction to polling, go for this book. Most people can find themselves in at least one of the categories-I'm a bit of an oddball so I was suprised that I was only in the "Upscaled Tattoo" group (in which he makes NUMEROUS errors in assumptions-the Macdonaldization of tattooing is a terrible idea). This helps support his overall thesis-we can't insist everyone be "American," when there are so many ways to be American. Plus, he points out many things that are easy to overlook. For instance, railing against illegal immigrants may not be a great idea for politicians because, even though the aliens can't vote, chances are they have family and friends in country who CAN.
But if you want serious numbers and accounting of actual trends in America, this book will leave you wanting.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful