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What Americans say they believe -- and what they really believe"" -- so runs the sub-title of this analysis of the findings of the public opion polls. Here is our chance to look at ourselves and, if we are honest, face up to our inadequacies. For while the results certainly indicate that we as a people are more good than bad, we seem often to approach the right thing for the wrong reason. Our personal problems outweigh any thought of community, state or nation. Can our form of political democracy hold its own in the open society? The record shows the rank and file ahead of the leaders in attitudes towards peace negotiations, world law, disarmament -- but the key to the motivation is interest, and the areas of ignorance are shocking, a challenge to educators and leadership. The compiled testimony of the polls makes oddly fascinating reading, whether we examine results of market research, views on unemployment, on social security, on foreign policy, on regulation of business, on higher education goals, on reading, on science in our lives, on civil liberties, on integration, religion, mental health, and so on. Again and again, the results turn inward to self interest. Some of the findings are disturbing, some are encouraging:- Social Security and Installment Buying have both been factors in increasing awareness and habits of saving, for example. Initial chapters deal with the facts about Public Opinion Polls, the steps followed in securing the information, the compilation and analysis of the results. And the conclusion is convincingly documented: scientific research can puncture generalizations and provide vital information on many levels. A book for careful study in schools, colleges, in business research, in discussion groups on cultural levels -- at home and abroad. Stuart Chase, economist, has brought to this subject his ability to enter salient facts into common understanding.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1962
Publisher: Harper