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.
You’re ready to give up. Throw up your hands and walk out the door. You don’t know what else to say — to some dear family and close friends, let alone the crazy strangers that seem to populate half the country.
Congratulations: You’re ready to read An Effort to Understand.
But don’t worry. This is not a book about civility.
Instead, David Murray (blogger, speechwriter, rhetoric authority, and professional curmudgeon) is urging readers to join him in a near-spiritual movement, one that pushes us to consider communication as more than a means of persuading others to our way of thinking, but as a way of thinking all its own.
With his signature blend of wit, warmth, and four-letter words, Murray’s essays tackle subjects from the specter of cancel culture and the responsibilities of citizenship to the art of dealing with annoying neighbors and the challenges of talking to kids about injustice. His words show that the personal and political gulfs between us are small compared to our common desire to connect.
It may be a last-ditch effort, but Americans have a chance at trust, peace, and solidarity if we make an effort to speak more honestly and listen to understand.
Because when it comes to communication, we’re all the bad guys. Thankfully, we have a chance to be the good guys too.