The Disappearing Center

Author: Alan Abramowitz

If nothing else, what a great title.  Wish I had thought of it.

However, depending upon your level of sophistication in reviewing and analyzing data, “The Disappearing Center” by Alan Abramowitz is not for everyone.  It is more akin to an academic paper than a typical political book.  However, since it was published by the Yale University Press, I could have looked before I leaped.

If you are prepared to dig deep and slog your way through studies, numbers, and graphs, TDC presents some interesting analysis and ideas.  To that end, it analyzes the more prominent components of political dysfunction and polarization in a very comprehensive way.

The one place that I had trouble was in the discussion suggesting that the public’s engagement in the political process is at adequate levels.  Despite the data used to support this conclusion, I thought it was a mile wide but only an inch deep.

The data is this book is a bit out of date, particularly given some of the changes in campaign dynamics.  Accordingly, I tried to double back to determine if some of the underlying data has been updated.   If available, it might be interesting to have Mr. Abramowitz bring his vision through 2014.

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