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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rightwing books sell better than leftwing books

"Conservative" books sell better than "Liberal" books in the US

As Ezra Klein of Wonk Blog on the Washington Post, comments, "The fine folks at Amazon have constructed a “heat map” showing the kinds of political books that people are buying across the country. The more conservative a state’s literary tastes, the more red it appears on the map. The more liberal the reading habits, the bluer the state gets."

Naturally, he wonders why the map is so comprehensively red.  After stating a few quibbles about Amazon's classification of liberal books and conservative books, he posits five (actually four) theories.

1. Conservatives are more likely to read political books than liberals are.

2. Conservatives are more likely to read partisan political books than liberals are.

3. Conservatives are better at writing political books that people want to read than liberals are.

4. Liberals are focused on consolidating their control of Hollywood rather than making gains in the publishing industry. (Yes, this is a joke.)

5. It’s easier for the opposition to sell books. If you look at the “red books,” they’re largely about Obama. The top “blue book,” meanwhile, is Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” It would be interesting to see what this map looked like in 2004.

He ends up with the guess is that #5 is the big mover here, with #1 and #2 playing a role as well. "But," he says, "feel free to correct me in comments."

And here's the link again, if you feel so inclined.

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