A Troubled Birth: The 1930s and American Public Opinion (Chicago Studies in American Politics)
Susan Herbst (Author)
Pollsters and pundits armed with the best public opinion polls failed to predict the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Is this because we no longer understand what the American public is? In A Troubled Birth, Susan Herbst argues that we need to return to earlier meanings of "public opinion" to understand our current climate. Herbst contends that the idea that there was a public-whose opinions mattered-emerged during the Great Depression, with the diffusion of radio, the devastating impact of the economic collapse on so many people, the appearance of professional pollsters, and Franklin Roosevelt's powerful rhetoric. She argues that public opinion about issues can only be seen as a messy mixture of culture, politics, and economics-in short, all the things that influence how people live. Herbst deftly pins down contours of public opinion in new ways and explores what endures and what doesn't in the extraordinarily troubled, polarized, and hyper-mediated present. Before we can ask the most important questions about public opinion in American democracy today, we must reckon yet again with the politics and culture of the 1930s.
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About the Author
Susan Herbst is university professor of political science and president emeritus at the University of Connecticut. She is author of many books and articles including Rude Democracy: Civility and Incivility in America. She is coeditor of the Chicago Studies in American Politics series, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
- Contributor: Susan Herbst
- Imprint: University of Chicago Press
- ISBN13: 9780226813103
- Number of Pages: 304
- Packaged Dimensions: 152x229mm
- Format: Paperback
- Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
- Release Date: 2021-10-06
- Series: Chicago Studies in American Politics
- Binding: Paperback / softback
- Biography: Susan Herbst is university professor of political science and president emeritus at the University of Connecticut. She is author of many books and articles including Rude Democracy: Civility and Incivility in America. She is coeditor of the Chicago Studies in American Politics series, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
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