Give our book a title and win a free ice cream cone

What should we call our book? A possible title is:

“Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: How Americans are Polarized and How They’re Not”

Or maybe,

“The Red State, Blue State Paradox: …”

We’ve been told that a subtitle is a good idea, but it would be good for the main title to be crisp.

Perhaps we have to think outside the box and forget about the red/blue thing, I dunno.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance. We’ll give a free ice cream cone to anybody who comes up with a good idea!

P.S. The book is intended for a general audience. It’ll be coming out around Labor Day.

P.P.S. One concern is that I don’t know of a lot of popularly successful books with 8-word titles (and that’s not even counting the subtitle). One to three words would be best, I’d think.

50 thoughts on “Give our book a title and win a free ice cream cone

  1. As a reader of your blog to improve my statistics knowledge, I vote for, ""Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: How Americans are Polarized and How They're Not"

  2. Many people have already become uncomfortable with, or pointed out the flaws of, viewing America as divided into "red" states and "blue" states (especially given the number of states that have senators and governors from different parties – and/or that don't reflect how they voted in last presidential election). Using the word polarization in the main title might seem more timeless. "The Polarization Paradox", perhaps?

    Nice blog, by the way.

  3. I'll be out-of-the-box. Both "blue and red state" and "polarization" seem a bit cliche.

    Democrat vs Republican voters: who are they and where are they from?

    Who votes for whom?

    Who votes for Democrats? Who votes for Republicans?

  4. I really like the ring of SRH's "The Polarization Paradox" but maybe it needs to be more suggestive of American poli sci (as opposed to, say, physics). How about "Two Nations, Indivisible: America's Polarization Paradox"?

  5. I agree; it has to be short to sell well — think "The World Is Flat," or (especially) "Freakonomics."

    How about:

    "Purple America?"

    either with or without something as a subtitle after that. I don't think Rob Vanderbei has copyrighted it yet… ;-)

  6. I've come to dislike "Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State.", but coming up with a better title is harder than I expected. Here are a few possibilities. (The subtitles are more or less interchangeable).

    Through Polarized Glasses: How and why political pundits get almost everything wrong.

    And Alabama in the Middle: The real political landscape and why we all got it wrong.

    Somewhere In Between: Moderate voters, extremist politicians,
    and the power of the political brand.

    I'll Cry If I Want To: how partisan politics misrepresents the voters, and made the Red-Blue map.

    I think "And Alabama in the Middle" is the best of these.

  7. I still like the Seuss. People will inevitably shorten it to "Red State, Blue State" anyway, so I wouldn't worry too much about length. You could add a question mark if you want to.

    I feel less strongly about the subtitle.

  8. You could simplify it to "Red vs. Blue: [subtitle]." I count it as a plus that those are the standard teams for first person shooter video games. American politics and Halo are frequently on the same level of discourse.

    I like the original subtitle suggestions. Richard's recommendations are good, too.

  9. "Polarized opposites?"

    i was trying to think of a good subtitle, but i think i'm gonna go all dorris kearns goodwin on your ass and steal "How and why political pundits get almost everything wrong" from Phil.

  10. Why don't you decide on a winner using the method Ian Ayers did for his book 'SuperCrunchers'?

    He paid for some adwords on Google and used the title that got the most clicks. If the book is for a general audience, this is a particularly good method. For more information, he mentions it in his recent @google talk.

  11. How about:

    "One Nation Indivisible: Debunking the Red-State/Blue-State Myth"

    Just found your blog about a week ago, and I think it's great. Keep up the great work.

  12. Title "Red is Blue"

    Subtitle 1 "The untold story of the real American political landscape"

    Subtitle 2 "What the pundits won't tell you"

    where is my ice cream ?


  13. How the States got their Color: Myths and Paradoxes about Red States and Blue States, and what it means for the real America.

    The second subtitle could be replaced by "and what YOU can do to save America". On the jacket for best effect.

  14. Split In Two – How continued portrayals of division in America lead to deadlock.

    Really, how do we expect anything to get done with so much focus on differences that split the county or even each party along 49:51 lines..? Instead of trying to find wedge issues that make those divisions a bit more significant, we should be recognizing that there's no difference between any of the political options and learning to live with that. The other alternative is endless rounds of disputed and 'stolen' elections where the margin of victory is the same or less than the margin of error in the counting system.

  15. I came across Louis Menand's article The Unpolitical Animal in the New Yorker and he cited a book by Morris Fiorina: Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America which made me think of this post.

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