High conflict Why we get trapped and how we get out

Amanda Ripley

Book - 2021

"In the tradition of bestselling explainers like The Tipping Point, the first popular book based on cutting edge science that breaks down the idea of extreme conflict, the kind that paralyzes people and places, and then shows how to escape it"--

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Subjects
Genres
Self-help publications
Published
New York, NY : Simon & Schuster 2021.
Edition
First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xiv, 352 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 299-312) and index.
ISBN
9781982128562
1982128569
Main Author
Amanda Ripley (author)
  • Into conflict. The understory of conflict ; The power of the binary ; The fire starters
  • Out of conflict. Buying time ; Making space ; Reverse engineering ; Complicating the narrative
  • Author's note
  • Appendix I: how to recognize high conflict in the world
  • Appendix II: how to recognize high conflict in yourself
  • Appendix III: how to prevent high conflict.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Journalist Ripley (The Smartest Kids in the World, 2013; The Unthinkable, 2008) takes a deep dive into the concept of high conflict and its emergence in global and personal examples. Ripley defines high conflict as a conflict that becomes self-perpetuating and all-consuming, in which almost everyone ends up worse off, and notes that high conflicts happen everywhere, often under different names. Drawing on numerous research findings and real-life stories of individuals and communities interacting in high conflict, Ripley examines these polarizing situations, and identifies stakeholders and strategies for de-escalation. The fascinating stories, global history, and dialogue from local politics Ripley includes keep the book moving at a brisk pace. Ripley helps readers understand what feeds into and drives high conflict and its aftermath, through competing narratives and complicated experiences. Readers interested in conflict management and negotiation and the decision-making process will be intrigued as Ripley thoughtfully explains the intensities and nuances of conflict, and the crux of high conflict in any setting. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Journalist Ripley (The Smartest Kids in the World, 2013; The Unthinkable, 2008) takes a deep dive into the concept of high conflict and its emergence in global and personal examples. Ripley defines high conflict as a conflict that becomes self-perpetuating and all-consuming, in which almost everyone ends up worse off, and notes that high conflicts happen everywhere, often under different names. Drawing on numerous research findings and real-life stories of individuals and communities interacting in high conflict, Ripley examines these polarizing situations, and identifies stakeholders and strategies for de-escalation. The fascinating stories, global history, and dialogue from local politics Ripley includes keep the book moving at a brisk pace. Ripley helps readers understand what feeds into and drives high conflict and its aftermath, through competing narratives and complicated experiences. Readers interested in conflict management and negotiation and the decision-making process will be intrigued as Ripley thoughtfully explains the intensities and nuances of conflict, and the crux of high conflict in any setting. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An award-winning journalist investigates how good people get captured by high conflict and how they break free, providing a mind-opening new way to think about conflict that will transform how we move through the world. 150,000 first printing. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"In the tradition of bestselling explainers like The Tipping Point, the first popular book based on cutting edge science that breaks down the idea of extreme conflict, the kind that paralyzes people and places, and then shows how to escape it"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

When we are baffled by the insanity of the 'other side''in our politics, at work, or at home'it's because we aren't seeing how the conflict itself has taken over.That's what 'high conflict' does. It's the invisible hand of our time. And it's different from the useful friction of healthy conflict. That's good conflict, and it's a necessary force that pushes us to be better people.High conflict, by contrast, is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the normal rules of engagement no longer apply. The brain behaves differently. We feel increasingly certain of our own superiority and, at the same time, more and more mystified by the other side.New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley investigates how good people get captured by high conflict'and how they break free.Our journey begins in California, where a world-renowned conflict expert struggles to extract himself from a political feud. Then we meet a Chicago gang leader who dedicates his life to a vendetta'only to find himself working beside the man who killed his childhood idol. Next, we travel to Colombia, to find out whether thousands of people can be nudged out of high conflict at scale. Finally, we return to America to see what happens when a group of liberal Manhattan Jews and conservative Michigan corrections officers choose to stay in each other's homes in order to understand one another better.All these people, in dramatically different situations, were drawn into high conflict by similar forces, including conflict entrepreneurs, humiliation, and false binaries. But ultimately, all of them found ways to transform high conflict into something good, something that made them better people. They rehumanized and recatego­rized their opponents, and they revived curiosity and wonder, even as they continued to fight for what they knew was right.People do escape high conflict. Individuals'even entire communities'can short-circuit the feedback loops of outrage and blame, if they want to. This is a mind-opening new way to think about conflict that will transform how we move through the world.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

When we are baffled by the insanity of the “other side”—in our politics, at work, or at home—it’s because we aren’t seeing how the conflict itself has taken over.That’s what “high conflict” does. It’s the invisible hand of our time. And it’s different from the useful friction of healthy conflict. That’s good conflict, and it’s a necessary force that pushes us to be better people.High conflict, by contrast, is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the normal rules of engagement no longer apply. The brain behaves differently. We feel increasingly certain of our own superiority and, at the same time, more and more mystified by the other side.New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley investigates how good people get captured by high conflict—and how they break free.Our journey begins in California, where a world-renowned conflict expert struggles to extract himself from a political feud. Then we meet a Chicago gang leader who dedicates his life to a vendetta—only to find himself working beside the man who killed his childhood idol. Next, we travel to Colombia, to find out whether thousands of people can be nudged out of high conflict at scale. Finally, we return to America to see what happens when a group of liberal Manhattan Jews and conservative Michigan corrections officers choose to stay in each other’s homes in order to understand one another better.All these people, in dramatically different situations, were drawn into high conflict by similar forces, including conflict entrepreneurs, humiliation, and false binaries. But ultimately, all of them found ways to transform high conflict into something good, something that made them better people. They rehumanized and recatego­rized their opponents, and they revived curiosity and wonder, even as they continued to fight for what they knew was right.People do escape high conflict. Individuals—even entire communities—can short-circuit the feedback loops of outrage and blame, if they want to. This is a mind-opening new way to think about conflict that will transform how we move through the world.