You're Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You're Still Wrong): Conversations between a Die-Hard Liberal and a Devoted Conservative [NOOK Book]

Overview

Americans have been divided along political lines for so long that they have nearly forgotten how to talk to one another, much less how to listen. This is not likely to improve as long as differences between them continue to be cast in overly simplistic terms, such as “ignorance” vs. “enlightened awareness” or “morality” vs. “reprobate immorality.” Such dichotomies ignore the fact that many citizens who disagree politically nonetheless share a ...
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You're Not as Crazy as I Thought (But You're Still Wrong): Conversations between a Die-Hard Liberal and a Devoted Conservative

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Overview

Americans have been divided along political lines for so long that they have nearly forgotten how to talk to one another, much less how to listen. This is not likely to improve as long as differences between them continue to be cast in overly simplistic terms, such as “ignorance” vs. “enlightened awareness” or “morality” vs. “reprobate immorality.” Such dichotomies ignore the fact that many citizens who disagree politically nonetheless share a desire to work for the larger good of society.

Phil Neisser, a self-described “left-wing atheist,” first met Jacob Hess, a social conservative, at the 2008 proceedings of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. After discovering a shared commitment to cross-party dialogue, they embarked together on a yearlong attempt to practice what they preached. In this book they share the result by exploring the boundaries of core disagreements about morality, power, gender roles, sexuality, race, big government, big business, and big media.

Each chapter revolves around an issue explored in depth through back-and-forth, lively question and response. This nuanced, iterative process was transformative for both authors, and could likewise serve as a valuable resource for anyone—liberal or conservative—who feels disillusioned by today’s often shallow, demagogic public discourse.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612344621
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,214,815
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

PHIL NEISSER chairs the Department of Politics at SUNY Potsdam and serves half-time as associate dean of arts and sciences. He is the author of United We Fall: Ending America’s Love Affair with the Political Center (Praeger, 2008). He lives in Potsdam, New York.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 26, 2012

    Inspiring and Challenging

    Neisser and Hess model through their own dialogue that civility in political is not only only possible, but also necessary and productive. In their conversations on foundation issues like the very nature of power and our understanding of and relationship to it, they set the tone for discussing more specific issues like gender roles and sexual orientation respectfully and honestly.

    What I most appreciated about this book was that no one was expected to change his or her position. Too often we assume when entering into dialogue that our sole purpose is to win, or to convince the other party that we are right. What Neisser and Hess set out to do is simply understand the other, which, they remind us, requires of us a willingness to sit with our discomfort.

    One thing I'd like to note - as a religious liberal (and mainline Protestant clergyperson) I often found myself in the middle, which was an unusual place for me. While I generally agree with Phil's views on issues, I tend to frame things theologically, like Jacob.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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