Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide

Oxford University Press
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Why do people become extremists? What makes people become so dismissive of opposing views? Why is political and cultural polarization so pervasive in America? In Going to Extremes, renowned legal scholar and best-selling author Cass R. Sunstein offers startling insights into why and when people gravitate toward extremism. Sunstein marshals a wealth of evidence that shows that when like-minded people gather in groups, they tend to become more extreme in their views than they were before. Thus when liberals group get together to debate climate change, they end up more alarmed about climate change, while conservatives brought together to discuss same-sex unions become more set against same-sex unions. In courtrooms, radio stations, and chatrooms, enclaves of like-minded people are breeding ground for extreme movements. Indeed, Sunstein shows that a good way to create an extremist group, or a cult of any kind, is to separate members from the rest of society, either physically or psychologically. Sunstein's findings help to explain such diverse phenomena as political outrage on the Internet, unanticipated "blockbusters" in the film and music industry, the success of the disability rights movement, ethnic conflict in Iraq and former Yugoslavia, and Islamic terrorism. Providing a wealth of real-world examples--sometimes entertaining, sometimes alarming--Sunstein offers a fresh explanation of why partisanship has become so bitter and debate so rancorous in America and abroad. Praise for the hardcover: "A path-breaking exploration of the perils and possibilities created by polarization among the like-minded." --Kathleen Hall Jamieson, co-author of unSpun and Echo Chamber "Poses a powerful challenge to anyone concerned with the future of our democracy. He reveals the dark side to our cherished freedoms of thought, expression and participation. Initiates an urgent dialogue which any thoughtful citizen should be interested in." --James S. Fishkin, author of When the People Speak
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About the author

Cass R. Sunstein is the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama Administration and the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University. He is the author of many books, including the New York Times best-seller Nudge (with Richard Thaler), Infotopia, Republic 2.0, Worst-Case Scenarios, Radicals in Robes, Why Societies Need Dissent, and Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 13, 2009
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9780199793143
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / Political Ideologies / General
Psychology / Social Psychology
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Simpler government arrived four years ago. It helped put money in your pocket. It saved hours of your time. It improved your children’s diet, lengthened your life span, and benefited businesses large and small. It did so by issuing fewer regulations, by insisting on smarter regulations, and by eliminating or improving old regulations. Cass R. Sunstein, as administrator of the most powerful White House office you’ve never heard of, oversaw it and explains how it works, why government will never be the same again (thank goodness), and what must happen in the future.

Cutting-edge research in behavioral economics has influenced business and politics. Long at the forefront of that research, Sunstein, for three years President Obama’s “regulatory czar” heading the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, oversaw a far-reaching restructuring of America’s regulatory state. In this highly anticipated book, Sunstein pulls back the curtain to show what was done, why Americans are better off as a result, and what the future has in store.

The evidence is all around you, and more is coming soon. Simplified mortgages and student loan applications. Scorecards for colleges and universities. Improved labeling of food and energy-efficient appliances and cars. Calories printed on chain restaurant menus. Healthier food in public schools. Backed by historic executive orders ensuring transparency and accountability, simpler government can be found in new initiatives that save money and time, improve health, and lengthen lives. Simpler: The Future of Government will transform what you think government can and should accomplish.
In this fascinating and sometimes disturbing book, the well-known writer Karl Sabbagh looks at psychologists' present understanding of the nature of memory, especially recollections of childhood, and how, in cases of so-called 'recovered memories', the unreliability and flexibility of memory has led to tragic consequences, destroying the lives of whole families. All of us have memories of childhood - that special trip to the fair, or impressions, such as dappled sunlight through rustling leaves seen from the pram. Some people firmly believe that they can recall scenes from the time they were babies. But what does science tell us about the nature of memory, and memories of childhood? In the first part of this book, Sabbagh begins gently with examples he has collected from many interviews of earliest memories, and goes on to look at psychologists' and neuroscientists' understanding of memory. It becomes clear that, whatever individuals might claim, memories of the first two years or so of our lives are simply not accessible to us, while later memories are fragile, yielding to suggestion and our inclination towards a neat story. All too often, our 'memory' of an event arises from what we have been told by a relative. The book then turns to darker territory. A casual remark by a child at a nursery leads to detailed and suggestive questioning of a number of children, resulting in the arrest of a teacher accused of child abuse. She was subsequently released. Some patients with eating and mood disorders undergoing therapy have come to believe, or have been led to believe by the therapist, that their problems stem from being sexually abused as a child - memories allegedly repressed and only 'recovered' under the guidance of the therapist. Such claims have again resulted in wrongful arrest, subsequently overturned, though the damage done to the families is irreparable. Sabbagh has interviewed the distinguished psychologist Elizabeth Loftus and others involved in blowing the whistle on the 'recovered memory' movement. Throughout, the book is full of quotations from interviews and extracts from transcribed interviews presented at court, making this a powerful and vivid account. While other books have been written on the dangers of the concept of recovered memory, Sabbagh here puts the story in the wider perspective of our growing scientific understanding of memory, and argues strongly for the critical role of scientific evidence in cases involving the memory of witnesses.
Collected here in this 4-in-1 omnibus are the most important books ever written on the art of war. The Art of War By Sun Tzu translated and commented on by Lionel Giles, On War by Carl von Clausewitz, The Art of War by Niccolò Machiavelli, and The Art of War by Baron De Jomini. These four books will give you as complete a view on the art of war as you can attain. This is the most important book ever written about warfare and conflict. Lionel Giles' translation is the definitive edition and his commentary is indispensable. The Art of War can be used and adapted in every facet of your life. This book explains when and how to go to war, as well as when not to. Learn how to win any conflict whether it be on the battlefield or in the boardroom. Although Carl von Clausewitz participated in many military campaigns, he was primarily a military theorist interested in the examination of war. On War is the West's premier work on the philosophy of war. Other soldiers before him had written treatises on various military subjects, but none undertook a great philosophical examination of war on the scale of Clausewitz's. On War is considered to be the first modern book of military strategy. This is due mainly to Clausewitz' integration of political, social, and economic issues as some of the most important factors in deciding the outcomes of a war. It is one of the most important treatises on strategy ever written, and continues to be required reading at many military academies. Niccolo Machiavelli considered this book his greatest achievement. Here you will learn how to recruit, train, motivate, and discipline an army. You will learn the difference between strategy and tactics. Machiavelli does a masterful job of breaking down and analyzing historic battles. This book of military knowledge belongs alongside Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz on every book shelf. Antoine-Henri Jomini was the most celebrated writer on the Napoleonic art of war. Jomini was present at most of the most important battles of the Napoleonic Wars. His writing, therefore, is the most authoritative on the subject. "The art of war, as generally considered, consists of five purely military branches,-viz.: Strategy, Grand Tactics, Logistics, Engineering, and Tactics. A sixth and essential branch, hitherto unrecognized, might be termed Diplomacy in its relation to War. Although this branch is more naturally and intimately connected with the profession of a statesman than with that of a soldier, it cannot be denied that, if it be useless to a subordinate general, it is indispensable to every general commanding an army." -Antoine-Henri Jomini
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