CoastLine: Arthur Brooks On Raising The Civil Discourse Bar To Loving The Enemy

Jan 23, 2020

It was January of 2019 that WHQR brought together about a dozen people, diverse in age, ethnicity, and political affiliation.  Our objective:  to see how the tone and quality of the group’s conversation changed over the course of the year.  And to find out whether these people could come to value spending time together. 

Throughout this process, especially early on, I relied heavily on ideas and practices put forth in a book published just after we started.  And if you’ve listened to any of the early episodes of Beneath The Surfaceyou would have heard me reference the book: Love Your Enemies:  How Decent People Can Save America From The Culture Of Contempt.

It’s by bestselling author Arthur Brooks, who’s written ten other books and served for a decade as President of the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative public policy think tank in Washington, D.C.  Arthur Brooks left that post this summer to join Harvard as Professor in the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Faculty Fellow at the Harvard Business School.   According to his website, his work there focuses on developing leadership practices and policies that encourage entrepreneurship, enhance human happiness, and promote the well-being of all. 

He joined us via Skype.