Believe it or not, America may be on the right track

If there were rock stars in the world of public opinion polling, one would be John Zogby. He’s a frequent presence on cable news channels, the subject of a New Yorker profile, and even a repeat guest on The Daily Show (Jon Stewart calls him Mr. Pollster). Since one of our geeknesses — that’s geek + weakness — is for polling data, when he writes a book about what Americans are thinking, we take notice.

In The Way We’ll Be: The Zogby Report on the Transformation of the American Dream (available 8/12), Zogby digs through thousands of surveys that sample Americans’ views on everything from politics, spirituality, and education to favorite cars, stores, and comedians (the winner in that last category? Red Skelton). His results are pretty unexpected across the board: Americans are allegedly becoming less materialistic, less tolerant of political divisions (and the politicians who pander to them), and more concerned about the rest of the world. “To put it crudely,” Zogby says, “the bulls*** era is over.” Wouldn’t it be pretty to think so?

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This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. Believe it or not, America may be on the right track