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9 Books to help you navigate disagreements

Indeed, ideological polarization has swept the nation—but how did this happen, and what can we do to get along better with one another? These books have the answers.

9 Books to help you navigate disagreements
[Source photo: Vincent van Zalinge/Unsplash]

Indeed, ideological polarization has swept the nation—but how did this happen, and what can we do to get along better with one another? Fortunately, the nine excellent books below all offer unique and enlightening answers to these timely questions.

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High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out By Amanda Ripley

When we are baffled by the insanity of the “other side”—in our politics, at work, or at home—it’s because we aren’t seeing how the conflict itself has taken over. In this timely read, an award-winning journalist investigates how good people get captured by “high conflict”—and how they break free. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Amanda Ripley, in the Next Big Idea App

How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason By Lee McIntyre

A philosopher of science offers tools and techniques for communicating the truth and values of science, emphasizing that the most important way to reach science deniers is to talk to them calmly and respectfully—to put ourselves out there, and meet them face to face. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Lee McIntyre, in the Next Big Idea App

Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make Our Platforms Less Polarizing By Chris Bail

Providing data-driven recommendations for strengthening our social media connections, Breaking the Social Media Prism shows how to combat online polarization without deleting our accounts. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Chris Bail, in the Next Big Idea App

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism By Amanda Montell

The author of the widely praised Wordslut analyzes the social science of cult influence: how cultish groups from Jonestown and Scientology to SoulCycle and social media gurus use language as the ultimate form of power. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Amanda Montell, in the Next Big Idea App

Grandstanding: The Use and Abuse of Moral Talk By Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke

Using the analytic tools of psychology and moral philosophy, two rising star philosophers explain what drives us to grandstand online, and what we stand to lose by taking it too far. Most importantly, they show how we can re-build a public square worth participating in. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by authors Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke, in the Next Big Idea App

Let's Be Reasonable: A Conservative Case for Liberal Education by Jonathan Marks

Let’s Be Reasonable: A Conservative Case for Liberal Education By Jonathan Marks

More than just a campus battlefield guide, Let’s Be Reasonable recovers what is truly liberal about liberal education―the ability to reason for oneself and with others―and shows why the liberally educated person considers reason to be more than just a tool for scoring political points. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Jonathan Marks, in the Next Big Idea App

Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them by Ethan Zuckerman

Mistrust: Why Losing Faith in Institutions Provides the Tools to Transform Them By Ethan Zuckerman

Drawing on work by political scientists, legal theorists, and activists in the streets, Mistrust offers a lens for understanding civic engagement that focuses on efficacy, the power of seeing the change you make in the world. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Ethan Zuckerman, in the Next Big Idea App

This Is Not Normal: The Politics of Everyday Expectations by Cass Sunstein

This Is Not Normal: The Politics of Everyday Expectations By Cass Sunstein

Exploring Nazism, #MeToo, the work of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, constitutional amendments, pandemics, and the influence of Ayn Rand, a renowned Harvard professor reveals how norms change, and ultimately determine the shape of society and government around the world. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Cass Sunstein, in the Next Big Idea App

Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World by Kevin Dutton

Black-and-White Thinking: The Burden of a Binary Brain in a Complex World By Kevin Dutton

Using the latest advances in psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology, an acclaimed psychologist shows how we can optimize our tendency to categorize, and fine-tune our minds to avoid the pitfalls of too little, and too much, complexity. Listen to our Book Bite summary, read by author Kevin Dutton, in the Next Big Idea App.

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Next Big Idea Club, a subscription book club curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant. The Next Big Idea Club delivers key insights from all the best new books via the Next Big Idea App, website, and podcast. To hear the audio version of this post, narrated by the author, and to enjoy more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea App.

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