A Change Is Gonna Come: How to Have Effective Political Conversations in a Divided America


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.9 X 1.1 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

Brian F. Harrison is a Lecturer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He is also Founder and President of Voters for Equality, a political organization dedicated to education, research, and political engagement among progressives and LGBT allies. Harrison isco-author of Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights, and specializes in American politics, public opinion, political communication, and LGBT politics. Prior to academia, Brian was a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection in the Department of Homeland Security. While he identifies as a progressive, he grew up with Republican parents and worked in aconservative administration and department, experiences that provided important insights on how to communicate with people with divergent political views.


"We can't change everyone (racist uncles, Twitter bullies, unhinged presidents who double as Twitter bullies), but Brian F. Harrison teaches us how to persuade the persuadable. This is a book for people who want to change minds using techniques that work, which means there's no chapter celebrating the effectiveness of shaming, trolling, and other emotionally satisfying but largely counterproductive weaponry. This is a hopeful and humane book for people willing to have seemingly difficult conversations that might just change the world." -- Benoit Denizet-Lewis, Emerson College

"What a refreshingly pragmatic, optimistic book. A Change is Gonna Come is a humane text, grounded in useful data, and full of helpful practices that are at the core of good political science, and good political habits. I look forward to teaching this!" -- Ren´┐Że Cramer, Drake University

"LGBTQ people have made historic progress in record time thanks to the brave members of our community who not only came out, but engaged in honest, challenging conversations with those who were hostile toward our very existence. As Brian Harrison's book makes clear, it is those authentic, hard conversations that have changed people's minds and opened their hearts. The only way we will defend our progress and win true equity for all people is to take Brian's advice and keep the lines of communication open." -- Brian Richardson, LGBTQ advocate and Director, Lambda Legal Midwest Region

"Brian Harrison has written a book that everyone and I mean everyone who cares about our current political morass should read. A Change is Gonna Come packages a wealth of social science research into a short, immensely readable, and incredibly smart book about how to have political conversations that matter." -- Ellen Andersen, The University of Vermont