For years, blog posts promising “The One Chart That Explains” some complex subject or “Three Graphs Tell You Everything You Need to Know About” a current policy debate have been de rigueur among the smart set. Such posts may be good clickbait, but they typically fall short of what they promise; a graphical representation of the relationship between two or three quantifiable variables seldom offers a satisfying and robust account of a social phenomenon.

Paul Taylor, chief counsel of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, has a handy new ebook out called The Big Picture: An Illustrated Guide to Modern American Trends that pulls together not three or five but a massive 375-plus graphs and charts covering virtually every major area of domestic public policy including taxes and spending, education, health care, and family policy. For data fiends and policy wonks, it’s a very handy reference manual with an impressive array of data pulling from (and linked to) sources as diverse as the CBO, the CDC, the Pew Research Center, the Cato Institute, the Brookings Institution, AEI, the Urban Institute, and the Heritage Foundation.

One chart about, say, the changing landscape of American marriage and family doesn’t really tell us much. The three dozen charts, graphs, and tables on the subject in Taylor’s book, however, gives a great perspective on how families are changing and how this relates to poverty, tax policy, criminal justice, and labor force participation.

It’s only $3 on Amazon and well worth checking out.

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