Democracy’s Data: The Hidden Stories in the U.S. Census and How to Read Them

Amy Brunvand


What a pleasure to find this book about government information listed in the New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2022! Dan Bouk is a history professor at Colgate University who “researches the history of bureaucracies, quantification, and other modern things shrouded in cloaks of boringness” (author’s note). Tedium, he believes, can be a smokescreen for things that somebody deliberately wants to hide, so he’s on a personal mission to cut through the superficial dullness. Bouk is certainly the right person for the job. His enthusiasm for bureaucratic data is irresistible, and his meticulously researched writing is witty, lively, and not at all boring.

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