We think we have the answers, but we need to be asking a lot more questions.
Partisanship is up, trust is down, and our social media feeds make us sure we’re right and everyone else is ignorant (or worse). But avoiding and attacking one another is breaking… everything.
Journalist Mónica Guzmán is the loving liberal daughter of Mexican immigrants who voted—twice—for Donald Trump. When the country could no longer see straight across the political divide, Mónica set out to find what was blinding us and discovered the most eye-opening tool we’re not using: our own curiosity.
In this timely, personal guide, Mónica Guzmán, takes you to the real front lines of a crisis that threatens to grind America to a halt—broken conversations among confounded people. She shows you how to overcome the fear and certainty that surround us to finally do what only seems impossible: understand and even learn from people in your life whose whole worldview is different from or even opposed to yours.
About the book: “I Never Thought of It That Way“
Drawing from cross-partisan conversations she’s had, organized, or witnessed everywhere from the echo chambers on social media to the wheat fields in Oregon to raw, unfiltered fights with her own family on election night, Mónica shows how you can put your natural sense of wonder to work for you immediately, finding the answers you need by talking with people—rather than about them—and asking the questions you want, curiously.
In these pages, you’ll learn:
• How to ask what you really want to know (even if you’re afraid to)
• How to grow smarter from even the tensest interactions, online or off
• How to cross boundaries and find common ground—with anyone
Whether you’re left, right, center, or not a fan of labels: If you’re ready to fight back against the confusion, heartbreak, and madness of our dangerously divided times—in your own life, at least—Mónica’s got the tools and fresh, surprising insights to prove that seeing where people are coming from isn’t just possible. It’s easier than you think.
Mónica Guzmán is the Director of Digital and Storytelling at Braver Angels, a nonprofit working to depolarize America and host of the Crosscut interview series Northwest Newsmakers. She was a 2019 fellow at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, where she studied social and political division, and a 2016 fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, where she studied how journalists can better meet the needs of a participatory public.
Mónica lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. Before committing to the project of helping people understand each other across the political divide, Mónica cofounded the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey and led a national network of groundbreaking local newsletters as VP of Local for WhereBy.Us. She was named one of the 50 most influential women in Seattle, served twice as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes, and plays a barbarian named Shadrack in her besties’ Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
Brian Allain founded and leads Writing for Your Life, a resource center and conference for spiritual writers, which includes the Publishing in Color conference series, intended to increase the number of books published by spiritual writers of color. Brian also founded and leads the teams that produce Compassionate Christianity and How to Heal Our Divides. Previously Brian served as Founding Director of the Frederick Buechner Center where he led the launch of Mr. Buechner’s online presence and established several new programs and strategic partnerships.
Brian has developed and led spiritual writers conferences at Princeton Theological Seminary, Drew Theological Seminary, Western Theological Seminary, the University of Southern California, Belmont University, New Brunswick Seminary, and several churches. He led the publishing effort for the book Buechner 101: An Introduction to Frederick Buechner, in collaboration with Anne Lamott, and also the book How to Heal Our Divides. All of this is a second career, coming after business and technology leadership in high-tech. Brian has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was designated a Palmer Scholar, their highest academic award.