The first edition of Unequal Democracy was an instant classic, shattering illusions about American democracy and spurring scholarly and popular interest in the political causes and consequences of escalating economic inequality.
This revised and expanded edition includes two new chapters on the political economy of the Obama era. One presents the Great Recession as a "stress test" of the American political system by analyzing the 2008 election and the impact of Barack Obama's “New New Deal” on the economic fortunes of the rich, middle class, and poor. The other assesses the politics of inequality in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2012 election, and the partisan gridlock of Obama’s second term. Larry Bartels offers a sobering account of the barriers to change posed by partisan ideologies and the political power of the wealthy. He also provides new analyses of tax policy, partisan differences in economic performance, the struggle to raise the minimum wage, and inequalities in congressional representation.
President Obama identified inequality as “the defining challenge of our time.” Unequal Democracy is the definitive account of how and why our political system has failed to rise to that challenge. Now more than ever, this is a book every American needs to read.
Larry M. Bartels holds the May Werthan Shayne Chair of Public Policy and Social Science at Vanderbilt University. His books include Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government (with Christopher H. Achen) and Presidential Primaries and the Dynamics of Public Choice (both Princeton). He is a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation, a fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
"[I recommend] Larry M. Bartels's Unequal Democracy. Especially at this time every thoughtful American needs to learn as much as possible about the relationship of politics to economics."--Bill Clinton, Daily Beast
"Obama can connect with voters on the economy by using history as a guideline. He should start by reading Unequal Democracy, by Princeton academic Larry Bartels. The non-partisan and non-political Bartels points out devastatingly after an exhaustive study of Democratic and Republican presidents that the Democrats built a better economy and a more just society."--James Carville, CNN
"Many Americans know that there are characteristic policy differences between the [Republican and Democratic] parties. But few are aware of two important facts about the post-World War II era, both of which are brilliantly delineated in a new book, Unequal Democracy, by Larry M. Bartels, a professor of political science at Princeton. Understanding them might help voters see what could be at stake, economically speaking, in November."--Alan Blinder, New York Times
"Bartels is the political scientist of the moment. Along with Obama, Bill Clinton also read and recommends Unequal Democracy. [M]ost people on the street could have told Bartels that the working poor fare better under Democrats . . . but the importance of these and some other findings in the book . . . is that they use scholarly methods to provide political explanations for economic problems."--Michael Tomasky, New York Review of Books
"A provocative new book by Princeton professor Larry M. Bartels, one of the country's leading political scientists."--Dan Balz, Washington Post
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Larry M. Bartels:
Copublished with the Russell Sage Foundation