For four years, Diane Hessan, chair of C Space, has been in weekly conversation with voters across the United States. What she has learned will surprise you, enlighten you, give you hope and change the way you think about your fellow Americans. Our inability to hear each other, our suspicion and our impatience are stressing us out and tearing us apart. It’s a sickness that permeates the American culture, erodes our collective mental health and makes us hate each other. Read her book, “Our Common Ground: Insights from 4 Years of Listening to American Voters” to discover her findings.
What is the book about?
To gain insights into how we can move forward, Hessan undertook a massive listening project, conducting an ongoing series of weekly interviews with 500 voters from every state, of every age, ethnicity and different points of the political spectrum. The topics ranged from race to guns, from character to party politics, from masks to rallies, from the Supreme Court to the pandemic to immigration and climate change. After more than a million individual communications, two things became clear. We have more common ground than we realize. And we are, sadly, failing at understanding each other.
On issue after issue, our “divided” nation isn’t nearly as polarized as we imagine. An overwhelming majority of voters believe in common-sense gun licensing and regulation. They’re pro-immigration. They believe that climate change is real and the coronavirus is deadly. They care deeply about their families and are willing to work hard to make ends meet. And, they believe that Washington is slow, bureaucratic and not working in their best interests.
In dozens of columns on these topics, published in the Boston Globe, Hessan has upended common political wisdom. Presented together for the first time as part of this book, they reveal a unique perspective on how Americans actually think, what they value and how we can move forward. The path to healing our divided nation is both simple and profound. We must turn down the heat, begin to listen, stop presuming, try to understand, treat each other with dignity and know that most Americans are not crazy radicals. We truly share common ground. If we can pull together, we can have a much better America.
- Climate change
- Gun control
- The economy
- How Americans think about each other and their leaders
Who is the book for? Why should people read it?
The book is for anyone who is worried about the divide in our country and who wants to learn more and take action. Read this if you have friends and family on “the other side”. Or read it just if you want to understand how 35 million Americans can believe that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Most importantly, this is for people who want hope.
Single most important takeaway:
“We have more common ground than we realize – and we are, sadly, failing to understand each other.”
Meet the author
Diane Hessan, an award-winning entrepreneur and innovator in the market research field, is a nationally recognized expert on the American voter. A member of the Boston Globe Editorial Board, she has written extensively about the voices of the electorate. She is the founder and chairman of C Space, the first company to leverage social media for consumer insights. She received her BA from Tufts University and her MBA from Harvard Business School.