Reviewed by Angie Gallion Lovell for Readers' Favorite
Jack Meacham’s Talking Sense About Politics: How to Overcome Political Polarization in Your Next Conversation is an enlightening journey though American history to the present in an effort to help the reader find a little "perspective." Meacham utilizes historical characters to demonstrate the four “American Perspectives,” that he discusses in his book. His premise is that we are not right vs. left, we are not conservative vs. liberal, we are not Republican vs. Democrat. Instead, we are a compilation of these four American Perspectives: Loyal, Tactful, Detached, and Caring. Once he has outlined his perspectives, he then moves into the meat of the book, demonstrating techniques to have fruitful conversations with any person bearing any of the above perspectives. Talking Sense about Politics is about reading people, relearning how to listen to people who hold different opinions and beliefs, and knowing how to effectively communicate with them in a manner that will not cause a family feud.
I found Jack Meacham’s Talking Sense about Politics: How to Overcome Political Polarization refreshing. It is timely in the current, high tension political environment. Every person who is paying attention and is aware of politics has undoubtedly been confronted with an uncomfortable situation when politics has arisen in a conversation. Meacham reminds us that we must relearn the art of debate, we must discard the labels and judgements that segment us. Meacham does a fine job of reminding us that spouting our own beliefs without allowing others to participate in the dialogue is not a conversation. He cautions us against making assumptions and rightly states that very few people fall in a straight line with any political party. By the time I finished his book, I didn’t know what Meacham believed politically, I don’t know who he voted for in the last election or how he feels about any number of hot button issues. What I do know is that he respects discourse, and that he has a very solid grasp on human nature. I know many people who could benefit from some time spent contemplating Meacham’s Talking Sense about Politics.