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It should be taken as no sleight if we refer to this book as perfect bathroom reading. Though the title suggests that it is a look at trends, forces, and potential big changes, it is really a series of 75 short essays on discrete subgroups within the American population. The authors define a "microtrend" as an interest or behavior shared by as few as three million people, or 1% of the population. And there are certainly a few groups who do represent a growing trend that may shape the future--"Moderate Muslims," for instance, or "Protestant Latinos." But does anyone really think that the knitting cohort or the non-Jews who join Jewish dating services in search of a Chosen mate are likely to add much to their numbers? Or that advertisers, politicians, etc. need to pay them much attention?

Likewise, because the book lacks an overarching theme each essay can pretty much be read in isolation (figuratively, not just literally.) You can put it down and pick it up and skip the topics that you don't find interesting. There's always another one coming up that is amusing and/or interesting. In sum, an ideal bedside or commode-side text.


Grade: (B)


See also:

Mark Penn Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Mark Penn
    -Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates
    -EXCERPT: from Microtrends by Mark J. Penn and E. Kinney Zalesne
    -ESSAY: The Power of Hillary (James Carville and Mark J. Penn, July 2, 2006, Washington Post)
-PROFILE: The Gurus | Mark Penn: Clinton's PowerPointer: With Data and Slides, a Pollster Guides Campaign Strategy (Anne E. Kornblut, 4/13/07, Washington Post)
    -PROFILE: Penn, Inc.: From "office park dads" to "mom-fluentials," Mark Penn's focus on dubious micro-targeting and affluent swing voters has influenced American politics for too long. (Mark Schmitt, March 22, 2007, American Prospect)
    -INTERVIEW: My Conversation with Mark Penn (Charlie Rose, October 17, 2007 Huffington Post)
    -PROFILE: Hillary Inc. (Ari Berman, 5/17/07, The Nation)
    -PROFILE: A Few Degrees of Separation From Hillary Clinton's Top Adviser (Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, February 20, 2007, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY: Mark Penn's Cynical "Microtrend" View Under The Microscope In Clinton's Fading Campaign (David Kiley on February 22, 2007, Business Week)
    -AUDIO INTERVIEW: Pollster's Book IDs Society's 'Microtrends' (All Things Considered, September 13, 2007)
    -INTERVIEW: Questions for Mark Penn (Interview by DEBORAH SOLOMON, September 2, 2007, NY Times Magazine)
    -LECTURE: Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes, Author: Mark Penn (BOOK TV)
    -PROFILE: Hillary Clinton: Can pollster Mark Penn put her back in the White House?: Pollster Mark Penn is an expert at spotting 'microtrends’ and the Democrat frontrunner hopes his skills will help her back to the White House. (Matthew d’Ancona, 9/19/07, Daily Telegraph)
    -PROFILE: Rumpled Mark Penn, Clinton Pollster, Goes Back to Battle: 'Gosh,' he asks, would Obama want to meet Ahmadinejad? (Jason Horowitz | July 31, 2007, NY Observer)
    -PROFILE: Penn, like Rove, wants intellectual cred (John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei, Sep 6, 2007, Politico)
    -PROFILE: Meet Clinton's 'Numbers Junkie' (CYNTHIA McFADDEN and EILEEN MURPHY, Sept. 5, 2007, ABC News: Nightline)
    -ESSAY: Cougars, Archers, Snipers (MAUREEN DOWD, October 21, 2007, NY Times)
-ARCHIVES: "mark penn" (Find Articles)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn & E. Kinney Zalesne (Harry Hurt III, NY Times Book Review)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Sarah Baxter, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (The Economist)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Rachel Sylvester, Daily Telegraph)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Ted Landphair, VOA News)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Ed Kilgore, Washington Monthly)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Mya Frazier and Mike Ryan, Ad Age)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Ezra Klein, In These Times)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Karen Breslau, Newsweek)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Alexander Cockburn, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (USA Today)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (NY POst)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (The Australian)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Alexander Wolfe, Information Week)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Sinead Carew, Reuters)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (The Globe & Mail)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Giles Whitell, Times of London)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Sam Schulman, Wall Street Journal)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Zdenka Marecka, China International Business)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Branding Strategy Insider)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Klaus Kneale, Forbes)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (James Harkin, Independent)
    -REVIEW: of Microtrends (Diane Brady, Business Week)

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