Crossing the Aisle: A Reading List

Contribute to this list by editing the original document. Leave a comment with your name and contact info so I know who to thank.

I put this list together because I saw myself having a different reaction to the news today. When faced with a different point of view, instead of digging my heels deeper into the left, my instinct was to try to understand that alternate view, and was there was a window that connected us both?

I saw others who felt the same — people who grew up in conservative towns who now live in big cities asking friends and family to fight less, listen more. But they were few and far between, and I wondered why. I realized it’s because there was no space for it. No outlet for people who cared more about understanding than the satisfaction of being right. No outlet for sensible conversation about our differences and how to come together. Online and on TV, the message was clear: the only choices are left or right; You’re either with us or against us. That just didn’t make sense to me.

So I made this list from what I could piece together from around the internet. If you have something to add (it doesn’t have to be an article — it can be a book or a video), I’d love if you could add to this by editing the original document here.

A few pieces to get you started:

The white flight of Derek Black 
An incredible story about how transformation is achieved by inclusion. Even of a white supremacist leader.

Reddit: Liberals, what’s your most conservative view? Conservatives, what’s your most liberal view?

As Scott F. Fitzgerald put it, “The challenge is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

Nikki Sylianteng (@nsylianteng)

America Divided

Oprah follows up with partisan voters in Michigan by 60 Minutes

"There's no difference around that table than what you would hear in any place of work, dining room table, college campus… The difference is that the people in Michigan really want to listen to each other."

Gun Violence

Guns and Empathy a video by New York Magazine

Why Do We Keep Having The Same Argument About Guns? by Anne Helen Petersen

Police Brutality

Why Colin Kapaernick Took A Knee posted by Matt Orfalea
It was US Army veteran, Nate Boyer who suggested to Kaepernick to take a knee as a sign of respect. Kaepernick’s protest was no statement on the military but to call attention to police brutality in America where cops are getting paid leave for murdering unarmed Americans.”


The white flight of Derek Black by Eli Saslow

White People a short documentary by Jose Antonio Vargas for MTV

Trump’s America

He’s a Local Pillar in a Trump Town. Now He Could Be Deported. by Monica Davey

What I Heard From Trump Supporters by Sam Altman

How a Muslim Doctor Changed Minnesota Minds by Stephanie McMrummen

Election 2016

I know why the poor whites chant Trump Trump Trump by Jonna Ivin

The Messy Truth a video series by Van Jones

Listening to Trump by Christian Parenti

What so many people don’t get about the US working class by Joan C. Williams

Hillbilly Elegy a book by J.D. Vance

The smug style in American liberalism by Emmett Rensin

Michael Moore joins wide-ranging election talk

Dana Gould asks those who voted for Trump to explain to him why this is a good thing. Here’s what he learned.

I’m a coastal elite from the Midwest: The real bubble is Rural America by Patrick Thornton

How poor whites see themselves a tweetstorm by John Paul Brammer

Race and the Race Rebecca Carroll and Van Jones

The sun comes up a This American Life podcast episode


Arrival a film

Reddit: Liberals, what’s your most conservative view? Conservatives, what’s your most liberal view?
Zootopia a film (really!)

Everyone believes they’re the good guy by Amaryllis Fox, former CIA undercover officer

The End of Identity Liberalism by Mark Lilla

Here are a few of the growing number of voices in this space:

Jon Stokes Founder of Ars Technica, former wired editor, gun owner

Van Jones CNN commentator and founder of The Messy Truth and author of Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together

Christian Picciolini Reformed white supremacist, founder of peace advocacy organization Life After Hate