“Unequal at the Starting Line: Intergenerational Persistence of Political Inequality”

Author(s): Nancy Burns

Editor(s): Henry Brady, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba

The Unheavenly Chorus


The Unheavenly Chorus is the first book to look at the political participation of individual citizens alongside the political advocacy of thousands of organized interests--membership associations such as unions, professional associations, trade associations, and citizens groups, as well as organizations like corporations, hospitals, and universities. Drawing on numerous in-depth surveys of members of the public as well as the largest database of interest organizations ever created--representing more than thirty-five thousand organizations over a twenty-five-year period--this book conclusively demonstrates that American democracy is marred by deeply ingrained and persistent class-based political inequality. The well educated and affluent are active in many ways to make their voices heard, while the less advantaged are not. This book reveals how the political voices of organized interests are even less representative than those of individuals, how political advantage is handed down across generations, how recruitment to political activity perpetuates and exaggerates existing biases, how political voice on the Internet replicates these inequalities--and more (Princeton University Press).  

Publication Information:

Book Title: The Unheavenly Chorus

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Year of Publication: 2012