In a climate of culture wars and tremendous ecomic uncertainty, America is often reduced to a simplistic schism between red states and blue states. In response to that oversimplification, journalist Dante Chinni teamed up with political geographer James Gimpel to launch the Patchwork Nation project, using on-the-ground reporting and statistical analysis to get past generalizations and probe American communities in depth. The result is Our Patchwork Nation, a refreshing, sometimes startling look at how America's diversities often defy conventional wisdom.Looking at the data, they recognized that the country breaks into twelve distinct types of communities, and old categories like soccer mom and working class don't matter as much as we think. These communities include: -Boom Towns-Evangelical Epicenters-Military Bastions-Service Worker Centers-Campus and Careers-Immigration Nation-Mirity Central-Tractor Community-Mormon Outposts-Emptying Nests-Industrial Metropolises-Monied BurbsBy examining these populations, the authors demonstrate that the subtle distinctions in how Americans vote, invest, shop, and otherwise behave reflect what they experience on their local streets and in their daily lives. Our Patchwork Nation is a brilliant new way to debate and examine the issues that matter most to our communities-and to our nation.
Since the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, Dante Chinni has been the correspondent for the Patchwork Nation project, which he invented. He has been a journalist for over two decades, serving stints at Newsweek and the Christian Science Monitor. His work has also been published in the Washington Post Magazine, the Economist, the New Republic, and other publications. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children. James Gimpel is a professor of government at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he has taught since 1992. He has worked on Capitol Hill in the U.S. Senate, as well as at the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Office of Policy Development and Research. He is also the editor of American Politics Research, a scholarly journal specializing in the empirical study of American political behavior and institutions. A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot's career spans four decades. Highlights include feature roles in Caddyshack and Showtime's Brotherhood, and appearances on America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries. His voice can be heard on television, radio, video games, documentaries and industrials. He is a prominent acting coach and a regular contributor to the award-winning news program Frontline produced by WGBH in Boston. Peter served as director of narration for the Emmy-nominated The Truth About Cancer. Peter has recorded a number of audiobooks, including three by Peter Hessler: Country Driving, Oracle Bones, and River Town. Other favorite titles include The Woods by Harlan Coben, English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee, The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer, American Brutus by Michael W. Kauffmann, Better by Atul Gawande, and Some Sort of Epic Grandeur by Matthew J. Bruccoli.