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The Republican Revolution & the Erosion of American Democracy

They have strayed dramatically from the moderate middle of public opinion and yet have faced little public backlash. Again and again, they have sided with the affluent and ideologically extreme while paying little heed to the broad majority of Americans. And much more often than not, they have come out on top. This book shows why—and why this troubling state of affairs can and must be changed.

Written in a highly accessible style by two professional political scientists, Off Center tells the story of a deliberative process restricted and distorted by party chieftains, of unresponsive power brokers subverting the popular will, and of legislation written by and for powerful interests and deliberately designed to mute popular discontent. In the best tradition of engaged social science, Off Center is a powerful and informed critique that points the way toward a stronger foundation for American democracy.


“Hacker and Pierson have produced the most penetrating study of contemporary American politics since Thomas and Mary Edsall's Chain Reaction. Every political journalist in America needs to read and heed this brilliant book.”

Eric Alterman
author of When Presidents Lie

Off Center is an important and provocative new book. It will capture imaginations and inspire argument both in academic circles and among the educated public. I think this is a home run.”

Theda Skocpol
Harvard University

“Their research is devastating. . . . They make it clear how far we have strayed from a society that clothes the naked and feeds the hungry—and how difficult it will be to return.”

Bill McKibben
Christian Century