Books Related to Unity & Cooperation

Featured Books

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. By Steven Pinker. Conceptions of human nature, or of the absence of a nature, have driven political thinking throughout history. Until the current era of cognitive science, differences in such conceptions have been irreconcilable. Today, advances in our understanding of our nature are opening the door to a new capacity to recalibrate our politics. We will be increasingly able to bring our political processes into alignment with our emerging understanding of who we really are and how we really function. Pinker's website includes his other books, publications, video and audio programs, and more.

A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. By Thomas Sowell. This book sheds light on the different assumptions about human nature that are associated with right or left leanings. As such, it can assist in formulating strategies to work for ideological reconciliation, or at least, to work for ways to expand cooperation across ideological divisions. Wikipedia has a detailed discussion, and videos focusing on A Conflict of Visions are here and here.

The Death of Politics: How To Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump. By Peter Wehner. A veteran of three Republican presidential administrations, Wehner offers both diagnosis and prescription for restoring some sense of unity and civic comity to our polarizing and increasingly vilifying politics. Several videos are available here and here. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times here, as well as for The Atlantic here.

I'm Right and You're an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up. By James Hoggan. Hoggan laments the current toxic smog of adversarial rhetoric and propaganda that stifles real discussion and debate. The author of several other books and owner of the public relations consultancy Hoggan & Associates, he expounds of these vital themes in several videos and an online lecture available here.

Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt. By Arthur C. Brooks. We must find a way to survive an "outrage industrial complex" that, Brooks writes, prospers by setting us against each other, creating a "culture of contempt" within which we are all prompted to see people with opposing views not as merely wrong, but as morally suspect. He elaborates in a PBS NewsHour interview with Judy Woodruff entitled "Why We Hate Our Political Enemies And How To Stop."

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion. By Jonathan Haidt. The New York Times hailed The Righteous Mind as a "landmark contribution to humanity's understanding of itself." Haidt shows why liberals, conservatives, and libertarians have different moral sentiments, and he shows why each side is right about many things. He offers insights helpful in promoting greater cooperation and in reducing harmful conflicts. Several excellent videos are available, as well as a selection of essays. A podcast on The Psychology of Self-Righteousness is also enlightening.

Thinking, Fast and Slow. By Daniel Kahneman. By exposing our exaggerated confidence in our own expectations, Kahneman helps us remember how much we don't know, stay open to new information, and be alert to spot confirmation bias. Such awareness, such if you will "epistemological humility," is a useful tonic to still our own arrogance when interacting with others who don't share our views. Scientific American published an excerpt Of 2 Minds: How Fast and Slow Thinking Shape Perception and Choice. His work earned a Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, and his Nobel Prize Lecture is viewable here. Kahneman explained Thinking, Fast and Slow for the UBS International Center of Economics in Society in 2013.

More Books of Interest

The Argument Culture: Moving from Debate to Dialogue. By Deborah Tannen.

How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate. By Andrew J. Hoffman.

Our Divided Political Heart: The Battle for the American Idea in an Age of Discontent. E.J. Dionne.

The Three Languages of Politics: Talking Across the Political Divides. By Arnold Kling.

Toward a New Agenda for America: Ideas to Bridge the Left and Right and Move the Nation Forward. By George Shultz, et al.

The Two Americas: Our Current Political Deadlock and How to Break It. By Stanley B. Greenberg.

Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. By Ralph Nader.

Voice of the People: The Transpartisan Imperative in American Life. A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turn.

Published: July 2019
Revised: June 2023

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