Love Your Enemies: How Decent People Can Save America from the Culture of Contempt
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Description

To get ahead today, you have to be a jerk, right?

Divisive politicians. Screaming heads on television. Angry campus activists. Twitter trolls. Today in America, there is an "outrage industrial complex" that prospers by setting American against American.

Meanwhile, one in six Americans have stopped talking to close friends and family members over politics. Millions are organizing their social lives and curating their news and information to avoid hearing viewpoints differing from their own. Ideological polarization is at higher levels than at any time since the Civil War.

America has developed a "culture of contempt"—a habit of seeing people who disagree with us not as merely incorrect or misguided, but as worthless. Maybe you dislike it—more than nine out of ten Americans say they are tired of how divided we have become as a country. But hey, either you play along, or you'll be left behind, right?

Wrong.

In Love Your Enemies, New York Times bestselling author and social scientist Arthur C. Brooks shows that treating others with contempt and out-outraging the other side is not a formula for lasting success. Blending cutting-edge behavioral research, ancient wisdom, and a decade of experience leading one of America's top policy think tanks, Love Your Enemies offers a new way to lead based not on attacking others, but on bridging national divides and mending personal relationships.

Brooks' prescriptions are unconventional. To bring America together, he argues, we shouldn't try to agree more. There is no need for mushy moderation, because disagreement is the secret to excellence. Civility and tolerance shouldn't be our goals, because they are hopelessly low standards. And our feelings toward our foes are irrelevant; what matters is how we choose to act.

Love Your Enemies is not just a guide to being a better person. It offers a clear strategy for victory for a new generation of leaders. It is a rallying cry for people hoping for a new era of American progress. And most of all, it is a roadmap to arrive at the happiness that comes when we choose to love one another, despite our differences.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
03/12/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062908155
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        Arthur C. Brooks is president of the American Enterprise Institute, where he also holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Free Enterprise. He is the author of eleven books, including the bestsellers The Conservative Heart and The Road to Freedom. He is an op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, and host of the podcast The Arthur Brooks Show. Previously, he spent twelve years as a professional classical musician in the United States and Spain, including several seasons as a member of the City Orchestra of Barcelona. A native of Seattle, Brooks lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland. In the fall of 2019, he will join the faculty of the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School.

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Love Your Enemies
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To get ahead today, you have to be a jerk, right?

Divisive politicians. Screaming heads on television. Angry campus activists. Twitter trolls. Today in America, there is an "outrage industrial complex" that prospers by setting American against American.

Meanwhile, one in six Americans have stopped talking to close friends and family members over politics. Millions are organizing their social lives and curating their news and information to avoid hearing viewpoints differing from their own. Ideological polarization is at higher levels than at any time since the Civil War.

America has developed a "culture of contempt"—a habit of seeing people who disagree with us not as merely incorrect or misguided, but as worthless. Maybe you dislike it—more than nine out of ten Americans say they are tired of how divided we have become as a country. But hey, either you play along, or you'll be left behind, right?

Wrong.

In Love Your Enemies, New York Times bestselling author and social scientist Arthur C. Brooks shows that treating others with contempt and out-outraging the other side is not a formula for lasting success. Blending cutting-edge behavioral research, ancient wisdom, and a decade of experience leading one of America's top policy think tanks, Love Your Enemies offers a new way to lead based not on attacking others, but on bridging national divides and mending personal relationships.

Brooks' prescriptions are unconventional. To bring America together, he argues, we shouldn't try to agree more. There is no need for mushy moderation, because disagreement is the secret to excellence. Civility and tolerance shouldn't be our goals, because they are hopelessly low standards. And our feelings toward our foes are irrelevant; what matters is how we choose to act.

Love Your Enemies is not just a guide to being a better person. It offers a clear strategy for victory for a new generation of leaders. It is a rallying cry for people hoping for a new era of American progress. And most of all, it is a roadmap to arrive at the happiness that comes when we choose to love one another, despite our differences.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 15, 2019
        An economic conservative proposes that those at opposite poles of the political spectrum should learn to love each other.American Enterprise Institute president Brooks (The Conservative Heart, 2015, etc.) welcomes the opportunity to share his views with those who might not agree with him. After a recent talk on a particularly progressive campus, one student told him, "I came ready to fight, but I really connected with that speech." Many readers will have the same reaction--or at least the author hopes they will since he largely avoids grinding an ideological ax. "What is the cure for our culture of contempt? As I have argued throughout, it's not civility and tolerance, which are garbage standards. It is love for each other and our country." So how do we get there? Brooks argues that we must build bridges rather than walls, replace contempt with empathy, focus on the many values where we agree rather than on the relatively few where we disagree, and embrace each other's common humanity. "Your opportunity when treated with contempt is to change at least one heart--yours," he writes. "You may not be able to control the actions of others, but you can absolutely control your own reaction. You can break the cycle of contempt." Because Brooks feels that the country at large has become addicted to contempt, much of the material parallels 12-step jargon; at the end, he provides "Five Rules to Subvert the Culture of Contempt." He draws from neuroscience and psychology to support his hypotheses and rarely indulges in the sort of finger-pointing that proceeds from who-started-it accusations. "In the long run," writes Brooks, "people are instinctively attracted to happy warriors who fight for others." Since the last to embrace the "happy warrior" label was Hubert Humphrey, it will be fascinating to see whether a book like this has any influence.Hardly groundbreaking but a straightforward and practical guide back toward human decency.

        COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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To get ahead today, you have to be a jerk, right?

Divisive politicians. Screaming heads on television. Angry campus activists. Twitter trolls. Today in America, there is an "outrage industrial complex" that prospers by setting American against American.

Meanwhile, one in six Americans have stopped talking to close friends and family members over politics. Millions are organizing their social lives and curating their news and information to avoid hearing viewpoints differing from their own. Ideological polarization is at higher levels than at any time since the Civil War.

America has developed a "culture of contempt"—a habit of seeing people who disagree with us not as merely incorrect or misguided, but as worthless. Maybe you dislike it—more than nine out of ten Americans say they are tired of how divided we have become as a country. But hey, either you play along, or you'll be left behind, right?

Wrong.

In Love Your...

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