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What we say, what we don’t, and why it matters.
This new collection of essays from rhetoric authority and celebrated writing blogger David Murray applies his signature blend of humor and heart to a free-wheeling conversation about how we communicate in America.
With essays like “We Deserve Leaders Who Act Like They Like Us,” and “Speaking Truth to Power: Talking to Myself,” Murray’s words give readers a window into everyday American discourse—from the backroads of rural Illinois to the carpeted halls of the C-suite.
Guided by an ear for the lessons of history, An Effort to Understand shows that the personal and political gulfs between us are small compared to our common desire to connect.
American discord is nothing new, but we have a chance at trust, peace, and solidarity if we make an effort to speak more honestly and listen to understand.
A Note From the Publisher
"With decades of experience in organizational communications, Murray examines public speeches, from political candidates to corporate CEOs, for clues to how we all can better express ourselves and empathize with friends, family members, co-workers, and fellow citizens."
—David Kusnet, chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton and author of Speaking American
"Writing simply, directly, and with great kindness, Murray reminds us that the ways in which we communicate show us who we are. A worthy and reparative tool for these times.”
—Phoebe Judge, host and co-creator of the podcasts Criminal, and This Is Love
“An insightful book packed with wonderful writing, practical advice, and hope for a better, kinder future.”
—Jonathan Eig, author of Ali: A Life
“Sharp, witty, and entertaining, An Effort to Understand is a fun—but equally instructive—read!”
—Mike DeWine, Governor of Ohio