High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out Audiobook, by Amanda Ripley Play Audiobook Sample

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out Audiobook

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out Audiobook, by Amanda Ripley Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Amanda Ripley Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.50 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.88 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: April 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook ISBN: 9781797123769

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

76:28 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

04 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

32:49 minutes

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Other Audiobooks Written by Amanda Ripley: > View All...

Publisher Description

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.

In a lively audio production with sound clips from individuals and situations she discusses in the book, 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.

Featuring audio highlights from actual interviews, town hall meetings, and podcasts.

Download and start listening now!

“Rarely have I read a book as downright clairvoyant as High Conflict. While most of us were raging at the rage in our culture, Amanda Ripley composed a lucid, compulsively readable roadmap to a world in which we can live with one another again. Honestly, I’ll never argue the same way again.”

— Evan Osnos, National Book Award winning author  


  • “Amanda Ripley has combined skilled reporting, deep research, and riveting storytelling into a stellar work about an urgent topic. At a moment when too many Americans are at each other’s throats, this is the book our country needs.”

    — Daneil H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author
  • “Amanda Ripley shows that the same minds that get us into bitter tribal battles can get us out of them. Via riveting stories in diverse settings—urban gangland, a war-torn central American nation, fractious municipal politics—Ripley proves that happy endings can happen in real life.”

    — Robert Wright, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Ripley’s observations are provocative, and she introduces us to ideas of mediation and problem-solving that would make many people less miserable if put into practice.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • “The fascinating stories, global history, and dialogue from local politics Ripley includes keep the book moving at a brisk pace.”

    — Booklist

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About Amanda Ripley

Amanda Ripley is the New York Times bestselling author of The Smartest Kids in the World and The Unthinkable. She writes for The Atlantic, Politico, the Washington Post, New York Times, and ?Wall Street Journal, among other publications.