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Effects of September 11: A Rift Between Europe and America

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ABC-CLIO in "Public Opinion and Polling Around the World: A Historical Encyclopedia", page(s): 897

July 2004

PublicOpinion

Covering the intricate facets of America's most important democratic tradition, this book serves as an important resource to understand how citizens' views are translated into governmental action.

George Washington toured the countryside on horseback asking citizens their thoughts on his new government. Abraham Lincoln held weekly meetings with citizens to better understand their views. Today, public opinion is power, and no nation can afford to ignore it. Determining what the public is thinking is not always easy. Polls are powerful weapons, but they can be misused.

Public Opinion and Polling around the World presents a thorough review of public opinion from its roots in colonial America to its role in today's emerging democracies. More than 100 entries prepared by top scholars examine the 200-year history of public opinion, measurement methodologies with an emphasis on telephone interviews and Internet polls, and key figures like George Gallup and Elmo Roper, who created their own polling systems.

An analysis of theories compares schools of thought from the fields of psychology, sociology, and economics and explores how people form opinions. A fascinating snapshot of the public's current views on economic issues, foreign policy, gender, gay rights, and other hot-button topics observes patterns across genders, race, ethnic origins, class, and religion in regions all over the world. Students, academicians, and political observers will discover answers to such questions as, "does public opinion shape the behavior of government?"

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