Year End Post: 2023 by the Numbers at #WhiteTooLong
Books I've read, places I've been, research we've conducted
Dear #WhiteTooLong readers,
Because I’m a numbers guy, in this final post for 2023, I thought I’d look back at books I’ve read, places I’ve been, and research we’ve conducted at PRRI. Thanks so much for being fellow travelers with me during this tumultuous and challenging year.
And if you’ve been waiting to become a paid subscriber to my #WhiteTooLong newsletter, I’ve got a one-day-only special offer of 25% off a yearly subscription that expires at midnight tomorrow. I hope you’ll join us to get all the benefits for the new year.
Books I’ve Read in 2023
I’m typically a nonfiction reader, but this year I’ve made an effort to up my nonfiction game. In all, I read 22 nonfiction books—including advance copies of 3 great forthcoming books—and 9 fiction books in 2023. Here’s my list (note: if you purchase a book using one of these links on Amazon or Bookshop, a portion of your purchase will go to support this newsletter).
If you’re a paid subscriber, you have access to the comments section. I hope you’ll drop in some of your favorite reads of the year to share with everyone below.
**TO SEE THE ENTIRE LIST WITH HYPERLINKS, CLICK ANYWHERE ON THE TABLE BELOW**
*You can also access a version of this list at Bookshop here.
Places I’ve Spoken in 2023
**TO SEE ENTIRE LIST, CLICK ANYWHERE ON THE TABLE BELOW**
My 2024 speaking schedule is starting to take shape. To see where I’ll be in 2024, click here. I’ll be updating that page throughout the year. In 2023, I enjoyed meeting a number of you at book events. If I’m doing an event in your area in 2024, I’d love to see you there.
Highlights from PRRI
2023 has also been a busy year at PRRI. We’ve interviewed over 60,000 people across 8 surveys, including our landmark 14th annual American Values Survey, conducted in partnership with the Brookings Institution. We also analyzed the findings from nearly 40 focus groups conducted among Gen Z and residents of 13 southern states on issues at the intersection of religion, racial justice, pluralism, and democracy.
Looking back over some the year’s biggest news stories, I’m reminded why it is so important for PRRI to conduct rigorous, nationally representative surveys to better understand the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. Here are just two recent examples where PRRI’s timely, independent research helped inform and explain what we saw happening in Washington, D.C. and across the country in 2023:
1. Trump Doubles Down on Dehumanizing Rhetoric
As former President Donald Trump’s campaign has gathered momentum, his language has taken an increasingly violent and authoritarian turn, including echoes of Nazi rhetoric. Last month, I spoke to NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben and connected this dehumanizing rhetoric with the concerning rise in support for political violence measured in PRRI’s 2023 American Values Survey.
Listen to my interview on NPR; and
Read my analysis of Trump’s dangerous use of terms like “vermin” and claims that immigrants are “poisoning the blood of our country” in a recent newsletter post.
2. Speaker Mike Johnson’s Election Elevates White Christian Nationalism
With deep ties to the white Christian Right, Speaker Johnson has long been animated by a vision of America as a promised land for white Christians, a view threatened by the decades-long decline of white Christians illustrated in the PRRI Census of American Religion.
Check out my interviews with Thomas B. Edsall at The New York Times and Ronald Brownstein at CNN.com, who published insightful analyses of what Johnson’s election means against the backdrop of the demographic changes in the country.
Read my commentary on Mike Johnson’s election, where I make the case that he is the “embodiment of white Christian nationalism in a tailored suit.”
If you’re looking for a good cause for a last-minute charitable contribution, please consider donating to PRRI by making a tax-deductible donation today.
Finally, I am reflecting on the many ways our country continues to clash over how we understand history in debates over culture and public policy. My book, The Hidden Roots of White Supremacy and the Path to a Shared American Future, connects five hundred years of history to the tensions we see in our country today. Because of the support of so many of you, I was honored to see the book debut on The New York Times bestseller list at its release. If you haven’t read it yet, I you’ll pick up a copy.
Wishing you all a happy New Year’s Eve celebration with friends and family,