Despite occasional statements to the contrary, most political scientists have long known — going back at least to Philip Converse’s work in the 1960s, and probably farther to Walter Lippmann’s in the 1910s/1920s — that many Americans do not in fact show substantial ideological consistency across policy views, except among limited groups…The 20% of the adult population who are white voters with bachelor’s degrees show some degree of coherence when it comes to views on same-sex marriage and income redistribution. But, when it comes to the 40% of the adult public who have one or none of these characteristics — including, for example, African Americans and Latinos without bachelor’s degrees and nonvoting whites without bachelor’s degrees — there is no tendency whatsoever for people who lean in a given direction on one of these issues to lean in the same direction on the other. For the remaining 40% of the adult public, who have two but not three of these features (e.g., white voters without bachelor’s degrees), ideological coherence is barely measurable.
Emmanuel Carrère, Limonov, The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, A Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia. Blends fiction, non-fiction, and occasional social science (was a non-corrupt transformation of the Soviet Union really possible?, Gaidar ultimately decided it wasn’t), but in terms of the subjective experience of the reader it is most like a novel. Excellent and also entertaining. I consider this a deep book about why liberalism will never quite win over human nature. Here is an interesting Julian Barnes review, although in my opinion it is insufficiently appreciative.