Discussions of American politics in the media are dominated by conventional wisdom and lazy stereotypes rather than serious inquiry into the data. The cure to this disease is Andrew Gelman’s Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State an inquiry into “why Americans vote the way they do” that’s brief and about as readable as a rigorous, data-driven book can be. Gelman crunches the numbers and uses words and graphs to explode much of what people think they now about American political behavior.