From the back cover
Red and Blue states … the “Religious Right” and the “Liberal Media” … NASCAR dads and soccer moms … Is America clearly and bitterly divided? Are today’s social and political differences truly worrisome, or the unavoidable products of a diverse democracy? In Is There a Culture War? two leading authorities on political culture lead a provocative examination of division and unity within America.
Long before most pundits and analysts considered the notion of a “culture war,” James Davison Hunter and Alan Wolfe were laying the groundwork for the debate. Now, for the first time, these two important thinkers join in dialogue to search for the truth about America’s cultural conditions. Two other brilliant voices enter the forum, commenting on Hunter’s and Wolfe’s views—historian Gertrude Himmelfarb and Morris Fiorina, author of Culture War? The Myth of Polarized America.
From the introduction by co-editors E. J. Dionne Jr. and Michael Cromartie
“In discussions of morality, values, and virtue, it is often very difficult for the competing sides to hear each other above the din of their own (understandable) passion. Wolfe and Hunter have many virtues, one of which is a capacity to listen closely to what competing parties in the debate have to say and to pay attention. They are both models of the engages social scientist: they are profoundly about the direction of their country’s civic and political life, but they are also able to step back to analyze fairly and insightfully the views of those with whom they disagree. That spirit – of passion and engagement but also of detachment and fairness – is reflected in these pages.”
Is There a Culture War? A Dialogue on Values and American Public Life is part of the series The Dialogues, published jointly by the Pew Forum and the Brookings Institution. This volume was first published in 2006.
Information on the book from the Pew Forum
Executive summary of Is There a Culture War?
Hunter and Wolfe spoke to journalists about culture wars at a Pew Forum event held in Key West, Fla. on May 23, 2006. Read the transcript.