Nolan McCarthy’s book has great foundational information that can help with the beginnings of understanding polarization. The material presented is very informative, and it provides a lot of ways to measure polarization in a quantitative way. There are places where the book seems to stagnate, but McCarthy does provide valuable information. This is a great book to start out with if you don’t know much about the origins of polarization and want to know more about it. However, the book falls short if you have a more robust knowledge about polarization.
This book could be a great resource if you are doing research and need more ways to quantify variables such as polarization. But, if you are looking into the origins of polarization and seek to find a more complete understanding of why it happened, this book falls a little short. Polarization is a book that is simply a meta-analysis of studies that have been done in the past and an interpretation of the results that have been made in each. It does not provide much substance in the way of new information. The audience that it would be most useful to is researchers looking into quantifying polarization, and even then, the usefulness would only be towards the beginning of the research process. Should a researcher have already done a lot of foundational research and read other sources, this book wouldn’t be useful at all.
Overall, this book is a great culmination of sources, but it is only useful to a very narrow audience; this book falls immensely short of the expectations of getting more expansive knowledge about the subject of polarization.