March 2017 Book of the Month

This book is a must read.  It’s an eye-opening experience.

I was listening to an NPR Politics podcast on a walk one day.  It was the listener question episode and one of the questions was; ‘how do we reconcile the political split in our country?’

The podcast host answered; ‘we have to mingle, intermarry.’  You are more likely to marry someone of a different race or religion than to marry someone with opposing political views.  And there’s where the problem lies.  We congregate with like minded people.  We are facebook friends with people with similar views.  We even read books that lean towards our way of thinking.  Remember in one Wild About Books post in which I was reading a book to learn more and understand Mormons, yet the book I choose was about a family who ended up leaving the religion.  “Unveiling Grace”, super good book, but a book to confirm my already set thoughts on the Mormon faith.  Or, another example, I read books that confirm my belief that a vegan diet is the healthiest diet.  I don’t read the books about paleo eating or books about ‘milk, it does a body good’.

We all do it.

That’s why traveling is such a good experience.  You get to see that most people in the world just want to raise their babies in a safe environment with clean water and nutritious food and be happy.  The end.

The book of the month for March 2017 is “Stranger in Their Own Land; Anger and Mourning on the American Right” by Arlie Russell Hochschild.

“In Strangers in Their Own Land, the renowned sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country—a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets—among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident—people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream—and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in “red” America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: why do the people who would seem to benefit most from “liberal” government intervention abhor the very idea?”

The author unveils a way of American thinking that is unknown to me as I live ip1010151n my bubble of like-minded individuals.

This is why we read.  Reading perpetuates empathy and as my Canadian guide on a boat in Mexico said last week; ” We have to love everyone, that’s the best thing we can do.”


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