cover image How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide

How to Have Impossible Conversations: A Very Practical Guide

Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay. Da Capo Lifelong, $16.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7382-8532-0

Philosopher Boghossian (A Manual for Creating Atheists) and mathematician Lindsay (Everybody Is Wrong About God) share extensive research and strategies in this insightful manual for overcoming perceived divides in order to foster more meaningful discourse. Presented are 36 techniques for all types of conversations, including those trying to change minds, improve interventions, and find common ground with ideologues. The authors first lay out the principles of Socratic discourse and provide real dialogues as models for achieving larger goals, with a particularly helpful section on replacing “listen and believe,” as a directive, with the more effective “listen, understand, and instill doubt.” With practical guidelines on what to do and not to do, this instructive work (which also addresses the current societal communication “crisis” due to political polarization) will appeal to anyone looking to have healthier, deeper, and more persuasive conversations, as well as those who need to know when to simply walk away (while facing internet trolls, for example). Addressing an atmosphere of oppositional obstinance head-on, this fine collaborative effort will equip any reader with the conversational tools to bridge divides. [em]Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel & Goderich. (Sept.) [/em]