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Publisher's Summary

Most people believe that our political system is a public institution with high-minded principles and impartial rules derived from the Constitution. In reality, it has become a private industry dominated by a textbook duopoly - the Democrats and the Republicans - and plagued and perverted by unhealthy competition between the players. Tragically, it has therefore become incapable of delivering solutions to America's key economic and social challenges. In fact, there's virtually no connection between our political leaders solving problems and getting reelected. 

In The Politics Industry, Katherine Gehl and Michael Porter take a radical new approach. They ingeniously apply the tools of business analysis - and Porter's distinctive Five Forces framework - to show how the political system functions just as every other competitive industry does, and how the duopoly has led to the devastating outcomes we see today. 

Using this competition lens, Gehl and Porter identify the most powerful lever for change - a strategy comprised of a clear set of choices in two key areas: how our elections work and how we make our laws. Their bracing assessment and practical recommendations cut through the endless debate about various proposed fixes, such as term limits and campaign finance reform. The result: true political innovation.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter (P)2020 Kalorama

What listeners say about The Politics Industry

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  • Komiljon A.
  • 08-09-20

Must read

Every citizen should read this book. I’m new to politics, but it didn’t take me long to understand our political landscape needs innovation or risk falling back. This book shows some very interesting ideas we can consider on our path to achieving a greater future for our nation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael C Van Aken
  • 08-08-20

Every American needs to read this book to understand how to take back our democracy.

This book helped me understand why our government doesn’t function to solve problems.
And best of all it provides a solution for taking back our democracy and getting government to work to solve problems rather than create polarization.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Haven
  • 20-10-20

One of the most important books in recent years

If you hate our current politics and worry about the consequences if we continue as we are, this book is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Darren
  • 23-08-20

Tired of the status quo? Read this!

I tend to vote anti-incumbent and through out my life against my party because I felt the other candidate would do a better job. I am now an independent because the duopoly and lobbyist are working against the best interest of us. Please read this and better yet do something with Top 5

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  • K. I. Mahan
  • 15-08-20

Must read!

this book contains real, practical ideas that we CAN implement. if you are frustrated by the current state of affairs, and more importantly, want to do something about it, this book is for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel Sanchez
  • 03-08-20

Political way of the future

The concept of The Politics Industry makes me wonder why this hasn’t been enacted widely. It also makes me realize why it hasn’t been enacted yet. Those is power will fight to keep their power over enact the will of the people. And that has to change.

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  • Will Blakey
  • 02-05-21

Fired up

This book is awesome. I got so stoked on being an American and making change to the system towards the end of the book that I forgot parties were even a thing for a sec. I think these reforms are necessary, but perhaps not sufficient to stop gridlock and polarization. Polarization is pretty deep in the culture so I think cultural changes are needed as well as these electoral/legislative reforms. Hyped on getting more people excited about fixing these problems though!

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  • Bart
  • 29-04-21

Excellent book!! Must read!

This book was very extensive in detail and causations in history. If we had civics classes worth anything, this book would be a great addition. We need a political process that works for the people, not just the politicians. It’s natural for people to be self interested, but there needs to be better guard rails so politicians are not incentivized to just take care of themselves at the expense of their constituents. This book helped me finally understand why these days the politicians so blatantly just take care of themselves.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-02-21

Fantastic!

Best book I've read on how to fix the current political system in the United States. Current, well-written and reasonably hopefully, this book is a must read for anyone who would like America's political system to work for the people, rather than itself.

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  • Haggai Elkayam
  • 30-01-21

Stale, worn-out solutions masquerading as revoluti

This book suffers from a huge issue: it masquerades as a revolutionary analysis of the problems of 21st century US politics, which offers an innovative solution; but it is actually a stale, worn-out solution which has been suggested by many for decades.

When YouTuber CGP Grey made a video series analyzing the same problems and offering the same solutions, he did not brand his videos as revolutionary, innovative, or new. He did not wrap his ideas with business school terminology, repeating buzzword phrases like "a modern, model (approach, lawmaking, legislative machinery, legislative body, legislature)" 7 times a minute. And he did so in a couple of 5-7 minute long videos.

I am sure HBS fans with only a passing familiarity with politics will love this book and see it as, once again, business thinking suggesting radical ideas to revolutionize politics. But this is more like "Michael Porter trying to appear smart in one more book, and failing to impress people who are actually familiar with the material".

The reason this book gets two stars and not one is that it has one good chapter (the one about past reforms), and that people with very little knowledge in political science or political history will get interesting new ideas from it. But I would suggest skipping it and just watching CGP Grey.