Rational Public Fifty Years of Trends in Americans' Policy Preferences

ISBN-10: 0226644782

ISBN-13: 9780226644783

Edition: 1992

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Description: This monumental study is a comprehensive critical survey of the policy preferences of the American public, and will be the definitive work on American public opinion for some time to come. Drawing on an enormous body of public opinion data, Benjamin I. Page and Robert Y. Shapiro provide the richest available portrait of the political views of Americans, from the 1930's to 1990. They not only cover all types of domestic and foreign policy issues, but also consider how opinions vary by age, gender, race, region, and the like. The authors unequivocally demonstrate that, notwithstanding fluctuations in the opinions of individuals, collective public opinion is remarkably coherent: it reflects a stable system of values shared by the majority of Americans and it responds sensitively to new events, arguments, and information reported in the mass media. While documenting some alarming case of manipulation, Page and Shapiro solidly establish the soundness and value of collective political opinion. The Rational Public provides a wealth of information about what we as a nation have wanted from government, how we have changed our minds over the years, and why. For anyone interested in the short- and long-term trends in Americans' policy preferences, or eager to learn what Americans have thought about issues ranging from racial equality to the MX missile, welfare to abortion, this book offers by far the most sophisticated and detailed treatment available.

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 1992
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 3/1/1992
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 506
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.738
Language: English

Robert Y. Shapiro is professor of political science at Columbia University.

Tables and Figures Preface
Rational Public Opinion
The Myth of Capricious Change
Opinions about Social Issues
Economic Welfare
Foreign Policy: World War II and the Cold War
Vietnam, D�tente, and the New Cold War
Parallel Publics
The Causes of Collective Opinion Change
Education and Manipulation of Public Opinion
Democracy, Information, and the Rational Public
Appendix to Figures
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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