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Bridging the Political Divide

Readers' Cafe

Book Jacket for Beyond Your Bubble How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work style=
Book Jacket for The Big Sort Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart style=
Book Jacket for Capital and Ideology style=
Book Jacket for The Common Good style=
Book Jacket for The Elephant in the Room Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party style=
Book Jacket for Goliath How Monopolies Secretly Took Over the World style=
Book Jacket for Healing the Heart of Democracy The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit style=
Book Jacket for Identity The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment style=
Book Jacket for Nervous States Democracy and the Decline of Reason style=
Book Jacket for The Opposite of Hate A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity style=
Book Jacket for Political Tribes Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations style=
Book Jacket for The Righteous Mind Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion style=
Book Jacket for The Soul of America The Battle for Our Better Angels style=
Book Jacket for Strangers in Their Own Land Anger and Mourning on the American Right style=
Book Jacket for Tailspin The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--and Those Fighting to  Reverse It style=
Book Jacket for Talking Across the Divide How to Communicate With People You Disagree With and Maybe Even Change the World style=
Book Jacket for Uncivil Agreement How Politics Became Our Identity style=
Book Jacket for What Unites Us style=
Book Jacket for Why We're Polarized style=
Book Jacket for Writings on the Wall Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White style=

Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work / Tania Israel

Political polarization is at an all-time high, and the consequences for our personal relationships are significant. Many people have friends and family members with whom they feel they can no longer communicate because of their extreme political views. In this book, psychologist Tania Israel presents her program for helping people have meaningful, constructive conversations with those they disagree with politically. Chapters show readers how to develop and use the scientifically-proven skills that are the foundation of constructive conversation, including strategies for effective listening, managing emotions, and understanding someone else's perspective, as well as finding common ground, avoiding self-righteousness, and telling your own story. Throughout, conversation prompts, practical exercises, case examples, and self-quizzes help readers visualize and practice starting, sustaining, and ending challenging conversations.

The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart / Bill Bishop

The untold story of why America is so culturally and politically dividedAmerica may be more diverse than ever coast to coast, but the places where we live are becoming increasingly crowded with people who live, think, and vote as we do. This social transformation didnt happed by accident. Weve built a country where we can all choose the neighborhood -- and religion and news show -- most compatible with our lifestyle and beliefs. And we are living with the consequences of this way-of-life segregation. Our country has become so polarized, so ideologically inbred, that people dont know and cant understand those who live just a few miles away. The reason for this situation, and the dire implications for our country, is the subject of this groundbreaking work.

Capital and Ideology / Thomas Piketty

The epic successor to one of the most important books of the century: at once a retelling of global history, a scathing critique of contemporary politics, and a bold proposal for a new and fairer economic system.Thomas Piketty's bestselling Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, Piketty challenges us to revolutionize how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions. He concludes that the great driver of human progress over the centuries has been the struggle for equality and education and not, as often argued, the assertion of property rights or the pursuit of stability. The new era of extreme inequality that has derailed that progress since the 1980s, he shows, is partly a reaction against communism, but it is also the fruit of ignorance, intellectual specialization, and our drift toward the dead-end politics of identity.Once we understand this, we can begin to envision a more balanced approach to economics and politics. Piketty argues for a new "participatory" socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power. Capital and Ideology is destined to be one of the indispensable books of our time, a work that will not only help us understand the world, but that will change it.

The Common Good / Robert B Reich

From the best-selling author of Saving Capitalism and The Work of Nations, a passionate, clear-eyed manifesto on why we must restore the idea of the common good to the center of our economics and politics.

With the warmth and lucidity that have made him one of our most important public voices, Robert B. Reich makes the case for a generous, inclusive understanding of the American project, centering on the moral obligations of citizenship. Rooting his argument in everyday reality and common sense, Reich demonstrates the existence of a common good, and argues that it is this that defines a society or a nation. Societies and nations undergo virtuous cycles that reinforce and build the common good, as well as vicious cycles that undermine it. Over the course of the past five decades, Reich contends, America has been in a slowly accelerating vicious cycle--one that can and must be reversed. But first we need to weigh what really matters, and how we as a country should relate to honor, shame, patriotism, truth, and the meaning of leadership.

Powerful, urgent, and utterly vital, this is a heartfelt missive from one of our foremost political thinkers: a fundamental statement about the purpose of society and a cri de coeur to save America's soul.

The Elephant in the Room: Donald Trump and the Future of the Republican Party / Andrew E. Busch

Did Donald Trump create a new blueprint for Republicans, ruin the Grand Old Party, or something in between? And what, if anything, should his role be in the future of the party? In this collection of timely essays, a variety of center-right political scientists and commentators address Donald J. Trump's past effects and future role in the Republican Party. Covering policy, politics, character, and comportment, the authors offer a wide range of analyses and recommendations. Essays range from Trump's place in historical context to analyses of contemporary voting behavior to efforts to disentangle Trump's policies from his persona.

Goliath: How Monopolies Secretly Took Over the World / Stoller, Matt

A startling look at how concentrated financial power and consumerism transformed American politics, resulting in the emergence of populism and authoritarianism, the fall of the Democratic Party - while also providing the steps needed to create a new democracy.

Americans once had a coherent and clear understanding of political tyranny, one crafted by Thomas Jefferson and updated for the industrial age by Louis Brandeis. A concentration of power, whether in the hands of a military dictator or a JP Morgan, was understood as autocratic and dangerous to individual liberty and democracy. This idea stretched back to the country's founding. In the 1930s, people observed that the Great Depression was caused by financial concentration in the hands of a few whose misuse of their power induced a financial collapse.

Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit / Parker J. Palmer

Democracy is a non-stop experiment in the strengths and weaknesses of our political institutions, local communities, and the human heart--its outcome can never be taken for granted. The experiment is endless, unless we blow up the lab, and the explosives to do the job are found within us. But so also is the heart's alchemy that can turn suffering into community, conflict into the energy of creativity, and tension into a force that opens us to the common good. Healing the Heart of Democracy names the vital "habits of the heart" we need to do the job and shows how they can be formed. Palmer proposes practical and hopeful, on-the-ground ways to learn how to hold the tensions of our differences in a manner that can restore a government "of the people, by the people, for the people

Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment / Francis Fukuyama

The New York Times bestselling author of The Origins of Political Order offers a provocative examination of modern identity politics: its origins, its effects, and what it means for domestic and international affairs of stateIn 2014, Francis Fukuyama wrote that American institutions were in decay, as the state was progressively captured by powerful interest groups. Two years later, his predictions were borne out by the rise to power of a series of political outsiders whose economic nationalism and authoritarian tendencies threatened to destabilize the entire international order. These populist nationalists seek direct charismatic connection to "the people," who are usually defined in narrow identity terms that offer an irresistible call to an in-group and exclude large parts of the population as a whole. Demand for recognition of one's identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. The universal recognition on which liberal democracy is based has been increasingly challenged by narrower forms of recognition based on nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, or gender, which have resulted in anti-immigrant populism, the upsurge of politicized Islam, the fractious "identity liberalism" of college campuses, and the emergence of white nationalism. Populist nationalism, said to be rooted in economic motivation, actually springs from the demand for recognition and therefore cannot simply be satisfied by economic means. The demand for identity cannot be transcended; we must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.Identity is an urgent and necessary book -- a sharp warning that unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continuing conflict.

Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason / WILLIAM DAVIES

In this age of intense political conflict, we sense objective fact is growing less important. Experts are attacked as partisan, statistics and scientific findings are decried as propaganda, and public debate devolves into personal assaults. How did we get here, and what can we do about it?

In this sweeping and provocative work, political economist William Davies draws on a four-hundred-year history of ideas to reframe our understanding of the contemporary world. He argues that global trends decades and even centuries in the making have reduced a world of logic and fact into one driven by emotions -- particularly fear and anxiety. This has ushered in an age of "nervous states," both in our individual bodies and our body politic.

Eloquently tracing the history of accounting, statistics, science, and human anatomy from the Enlightenment to the present, Davies shows how we invented expertise in the seventeenth century to calm the violent disputes -- over God and the nature of reality -- that ravaged Europe. By separating truth from emotion, scientific, testable facts paved a way out of constant warfare and established a basis for consensus, which became the bedrock of modern politics, business, and democracy.Informed by research on psychology and economics, Davies reveals how widespread feelings of fear, vulnerability, physical and psychological pain, and growing inequality reshaped our politics, upending these centuries-old ideals of how we understand the world and organize society. Yet Davies suggests that the rise of emotion may open new possibilities for confronting humanity's greatest challenges. Ambitious and compelling, Nervous States is a perceptive and enduring account of our turbulent times.

The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity / Sally Kohn

At a moment when we are facing an epidemic of incivility and hate - with divisive political speech, online trolling, and hate crimes escalating - popular CNN commentator Sally Kohn sets out to discover why we hate and how can stop it. As a progressive commentator on Fox News and now CNN, Sally Kohn has made a career out of bridging intractable political differences, learning how to talk civilly to people whose views she disagrees with passionately. Famously "nice," she even gave a TED Talk about what she termed emotional correctness. But these days, even Kohn has found herself wanting to breathe fire at her enemies. It was time, she decided, to look into the ugliness erupting all around us. In The Opposite of Hate, Kohn talks to leading scientists and researchers, investigating the evolutionary and cultural roots of hate and how simple incivility can be a gateway to much worse. She travels to Rwanda, to the Middle East, and across the United States, introducing us to terrorists, white supremacists, and even some of her own Twitter trolls, drawing surprising lessons from these dramatic examples - including inspiring stories of those who left hate behind. As Kohn boldly confronts her own shameful moments, whether it's the girl she bullied as a child or her own deep partisan resentment, she points the way toward change. No one is more poised to lead us out of this wilderness of hate than Sally Kohn. Her engaging, fascinating, and often funny book will open your eyes and your heart.

Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations / Amy Chua

The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua offers a bold new prescription for reversing our foreign policy failures and overcoming our destructive political tribalism at home Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most - the ones that people will kill and die for - are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based. But because America tends to see the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles - Capitalism vs. Communism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, the "Free World" vs. the "Axis of Evil" - we are often spectacularly blind to the power of tribal politics.

Time and again this blindness has undermined American foreign policy. In the Vietnam War, viewing the conflict through Cold War blinders, we never saw that most of Vietnam's "capitalists" were members of the hated Chinese minority. Every pro-free-market move we made helped turn the Vietnamese people against us. In Iraq, we were stunningly dismissive of the hatred between that country's Sunnis and Shias. If we want to get our foreign policy right - so as to not be perpetually caught off guard and fighting unwinnable wars - the United States has to come to grips with political tribalism abroad. Just as Washington's foreign policy establishment has been blind to the power of tribal politics outside the country, so too have American political elites been oblivious to the group identities that matter most to ordinary Americans - and that are tearing the United States apart. As the stunning rise of Donald Trump laid bare, identity politics have seized both the American left and right in an especially dangerous, racially inflected way.

In America today, every group feels threatened: whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, liberals and conservatives, and so on. There is a pervasive sense of collective persecution and discrimination. On the left, this has given rise to increasingly radical and exclusionary rhetoric of privilege and cultural appropriation. On the right, it has fueled a disturbing rise in xenophobia and white nationalism. In characteristically persuasive style, Amy Chua argues that America must rediscover a national identity that transcends our political tribes. Enough false slogans of unity, which are just another form of divisiveness. It is time for a more difficult unity that acknowledges the reality of group differences and fights the deep inequities that divide us.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion / Jonathan Haidt

Why can't our political leaders work together as threats loom and problems mount? Why do people so readily assume the worst about the motives of their fellow citizens? In The Righteous Mind, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores the origins of our divisions and points the way forward to mutual understanding. His starting point is moral intuition - the nearly instantaneous perceptions we all have about other people and the things they do. These intuitions feel like self-evident truths, making us righteously certain that those who see things differently are wrong. Haidt shows us how these intuitions differ across cultures, including the cultures of the political left and right. He blends his own research findings with those of anthropologists, historians, and other psychologists to draw a map of the moral domain, and he explains why conservatives can navigate that map more skillfully than can liberals.

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels / JON MEACHAM

Our current climate of partisan fury is not new, and in The Soul of America Meacham shows us how what Abraham Lincoln called the "better angels of our nature" have repeatedly won the day. Painting surprising portraits of Lincoln and other presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and illuminating the courage of such influential citizen activists as Martin Luther King, Jr., early suffragettes Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt, civil rights pioneers Rosa Parks and John Lewis, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Army-McCarthy hearings lawyer Joseph N. Welch, Meacham brings vividly to life turning points in American history. He writes about the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the birth of the Lost Cause; the backlash against immigrants in the First World War and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; the fight for women's rights; the demagoguery of Huey Long and Father Coughlin and the isolationist work of America First in the years before World War II; the anti-Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy; and Lyndon Johnson's crusade against Jim Crow.

Each of these dramatic hours in our national life have been shaped by the contest to lead the country to look forward rather than back, to assert hope over fear - a struggle that continues even now.While the American story has not always - or even often - been heroic, we have been sustained by a belief in progress even in the gloomiest of times. In this inspiring book, Meacham reassures us, "The good news is that we have come through such darkness before" - as, time and again, Lincoln's better angels have found a way to prevail.

Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right / Arlie Russell Hochschild

Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country - a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets - among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident - people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream - and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea?

Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall--and Those Fighting to Reverse It / Steven Brill

In this revelatory narrative covering the years 1967 to 2017, Steven Brill gives us a stunningly cogent picture of the broken system at the heart of our society. He shows us how, over the last half century, America's core values - meritocracy, innovation, due process, free speech, and even democracy itself - have somehow managed to power its decline into dysfunction. They have isolated our best and brightest, whose positions at the top have never been more secure or more remote. The result has been an erosion of responsibility and accountability, an epidemic of shortsightedness, an increasingly hollow economic and political center, and millions of Americans gripped by apathy and hopelessness. By examining the people and forces behind the rise of big-money lobbying, legal and financial engineering, the demise of private-sector unions, and a hamstrung bureaucracy, Brill answers the question on everyone's mind: How did we end up this way? Finally, he introduces us to those working quietly and effectively to repair the damages. At once a diagnosis of our national ills, a history of their development, and a prescription for a brighter future, Tailspin is a work of riveting journalism - and a welcome antidote to political despair.

Talking Across the Divide: How to Communicate With People You Disagree With and Maybe Even Change the World / Justin Lee

America is more polarized than ever. Whether the issue is Donald Trump, healthcare, abortion, gun control, breastfeeding, or even DC vs Marvel, it feels like you cant voice an opinion without ruffling someones feathers. In todays digital age, its easier than ever to build walls around yourself. You fill up your Twitter feed with voices that are angry about the same issues and believe as you believe. Before long, youre isolated in your own personalized echo chamber. And if you ever encounter someone outside of your bubble, you dont understand how the arguments that resonate so well with your peers cant get through to anyone else. In a time when every conversation quickly becomes a battlefield, its up to us to learn how to talk to each other again.

Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity / Lilliana Mason

Political polarization in America is at an all-time high, and the conflict has moved beyond disagreements about matters of policy. For the first time in more than twenty years, research has shown that members of both parties hold strongly unfavorable views of their opponents. This is polarization rooted in social identity, and it is growing. The campaign and election of Donald Trump laid bare this fact of the American electorate, its successful rhetoric of "us versus them" tapping into a powerful current of anger and resentment. With Uncivil Agreement, Lilliana Mason looks at the growing social gulf across racial, religious, and cultural lines, which have recently come to divide neatly between the two major political parties. She argues that group identifications have changed the way we think and feel about ourselves and our opponents.

What Unites Us / Dan Rather

"I find myself thinking deeply about what it means to love America, as I surely do." - Dan Rather At a moment of crisis over our national identity, venerated journalist Dan Rather has emerged as a voice of reason and integrity, reflecting on - and writing passionately about - what it means to be an American. Now, with this collection of original essays, he reminds us of the principles upon which the United States was founded. Looking at the freedoms that define us, from the vote to the press; the values that have transformed us, from empathy to inclusion to service; the institutions that sustain us, such as public education; and the traits that helped form our young country, such as the audacity to take on daunting challenges in science and medicine, Rather brings to bear his decades of experience on the frontlines of the world's biggest stories. As a living witness to historical change, he offers up an intimate view of history, tracing where we have been in order to help us chart a way forward and heal our bitter divisions. With a fundamental sense of hope, What Unites Us is the book to inspire conversation and listening, and to remind us all how we are, finally, one.

Why We're Polarized / Ezra Klein

Discover how American politics became a toxic system, why we participate in it, and what it means for our future - from journalist, political commentator, and cofounder of Vox, Ezra Klein. After Election Day 2016, both supporters and opponents of the soon-to-be president hailed his victory as a historically unprecedented event. Most Americans could agree that no candidate like Donald Trump had ever been elected President before. But political journalist Ezra Klein makes the case that the 2016 election wasn't surprising at all. In fact, Trump's electoral victory followed the exact same template as previous elections, by capturing a nearly identical percentage of voter demographics as previous Republican candidates. Over the past 50 years in America, our partisan identities have merged with our racial, religious, geographic, ideological, and cultural identities. Those merged identities have attained a weight that is breaking much in our politics and tearing at the bonds that hold this country together. In this groundbreaking book, Klein shows how and why American politics polarized around identity in the 20th century, and what that polarization did to the way we see the world and each other. And he traces the feedback loops between our polarized political identities and our polarized political institutions that are driving our political system towards crisis. Neither a polemic nor a lament, Klein offers a clear framework for understanding everything from Trump's rise to the Democratic Party's leftward shift to the politicization of everyday culture. A revelatory book that will change how you look at politics, and perhaps at yourself.

Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White / Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Bestselling author, basketball legend and cultural commentator Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores the heart of issues that affect Americans today. Since retiring from professional basketball as the NBA's all-time leading scorer, six-time MVP, and Hall of Fame inductee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become a lauded observer of culture and society, a New York Times bestselling author, and a regular contributor to The Washington Post, TIME magazine and TIME.com.

He now brings that keen insight to the fore in Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White, his most incisive and important work of non-fiction in years. He uses his unique blend of erudition, street smarts and authentic experience in essays on the country's seemingly irreconcilable partisan divide - both racial and political, parenthood, and his own experiences as an athlete, African-American, and a Muslim. The book is not just a collection of expositions; he also offers keen assessments of and solutions to problems such as racism in sports while speaking candidly about his experiences on the court and off.

Timed for publication as the nation debates whom to send to the White House, the combination of plain talk on issues, life lessons, and personal stories places Writings on the Wall squarely in the middle of the conversation, as many of Abdul-Jabbar's topics are at the top of the national agenda. Whether it is sparring with Donald Trump, within the pages of TIME magazine, or full-length features in the The New York Times Magazine, writers, critics, and readers have come to agree on what The Washington Post observed: Abdul-Jabbar "has become a vital, dynamic and unorthodox cultural voice."

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Poudre River Public Library District (970) 221-6740
Including the collection of Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus


Poudre River Public Library District
(970) 221-6740

Including the collection of
Front Range Community College, Larimer Campus