• Republican Like Me

  • How I Left the Liberal Bubble and Learned to Love the Right
  • By: Ken Stern
  • Narrated by: Ken Stern
  • Length: 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 10-24-17
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Harper Audio
  • 4.1 (70 ratings)

Regular price: $25.09

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Publisher's Summary

The former CEO of NPR set out for conservative America to find out why these people are so wrong about everything. It turns out they weren't.

Ken Stern watched the increasing polarization of our country with growing concern. As a longtime partisan Democrat himself, he felt forced to acknowledge that his own views were too parochial, too absent of any exposure to the "other side". In fact, his urban neighborhood is so liberal, he couldn't find a single Republican - even by asking around.

So, for one year, he crossed the aisle to spend time listening, talking, and praying with Republicans of all stripes. With his mind open and his dial tuned to the right, he went to evangelical churches, shot a hog in Texas, stood in pit row at a NASCAR race, hung out at Tea Party meetings, and sat in on Steve Bannon's radio show. He also read up on conservative wonkery and consulted with the smartest people the right has to offer.

What happens when a liberal sets out to look at issues from a conservative perspective? Some of his dearly cherished assumptions about the right slipped away. Republican Like Me reveals what led him to change his mind and his view of an increasingly polarized America.

©2017 Ken Stern (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Worth a listen or read.

This is a laudable attempt to understand both sides of the arguments that define the political parties. As someone who spent my working life in broadcasting I will tell you that news reporters are either biased, incompetent, lazy or all to rarely "fair and balanced". This is a unusual trait, rarely seen. This is a good effort with the writer being upfront with his biases and it's worth your money and time.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Insightful but monotone and a bit misleading

I greatly appreciate Kens project and wish more would follow his example from both sides of the political spectrum. However, objectively, the book was a bit thick headed and didn't seem to be organized/themed as well as it could be. Many times I was left wondering what the content of each chapter had in common with other content in each chapter. It may have exacerbated my perception, but Kens monotonic and sometimes slurred reading made it a little challenging to hold my attention.

In all a great project and a very respectable effort rich with data and fairmindedness. However, I found the title and cover of the book were a bit misleading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This book gives me hope

This book gives me hope that we just might be able to end our extremely divisive partisan politics, especially if more books like this get written from both sides. I learned a lot and the book gave me a lot to think about. It's a must read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great info, poor audio experience

Mr Stern writes insightfully and with humor. His delivery as the reader made completion tough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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imperfect but important

As someone who holds both strong liberal positions (poverty, immigration, healthcare, education, cautious on war and nuclear proliferation) and a few strong stereotypically conservative positions (religious freedom issues, abortion as a tragedy that should be rendered at least unthinkable if not illegal), I appreciate someone making the point that it's important to listen to "the other side" and refuse to use politics to dehumanize people who disagree with us.

Stern is strongest here when dealing with specific policy issues - his chapters on gun control and climate change are especially well presented. He is weakest when attempting to capture the religious culture of the right, using such a broad brush that he ends up mischaracterizing some of the Christian positions he summarizes.

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Not a read for a conservative

The book is an account of a personal journey to understand the people and their views on the other side of the political divide. The conclusion is not surprising at all. Keep revising your views, use credible sources of information, talk to people with dramatically different views and life experiences, and you'll find out that your views are much closer to each other than you'd think.

I liked the personal angle and that the author took time to immerse himself into conservative political environment. I imagine it took a lot of effort and time spent out of the comfort zone. The tagline is, of course, a bit misleading. It is not like the author abandons his views in the end, but he gets a better and deeper understanding of the problems. Not that much for the solutions.

In any case, this is not a book for a conservative because the author assumes that his reader is a liberal. He hardly spends any time on conveying the liberal points of view and goes straight for the incomplete, wrong, or ideological parts of them.

A few times while listening to the book I had to stop and google up some statistics or information about people and places to get some more context. Actually there is quite a bit of statistical in the book, which is relevant and interesting. If you are into that kind of thing, I would recommend "One Nation Undecided" by Peter H. Schuck, which is all about data-driven and non-partisan approach to divisive problems.

All in all I liked the book and would recommend it to anyone who feels like he is a victim of the confirmation bias and wants a push to break out. Unfortunately the author is not the best performer. The reading is monotonous and is just that, reading. You don't get a feeling of a narrative coming from his own experience, which is a pity. I personally don't mind that as long as the content is good, but it definitely may be a poor experience for many.

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A book for all left, right, middle & non-American

Wonderful review of virtually every subject discussed in modern politics. For my American and foreign friends and family alike, this book gives background of why we so feverishly debate the way we do & how we could do it better.

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  • KJ
  • Wisconsin USA
  • 11-18-17

Not sure he learned to love the right

The title and cover illustration are a little bit misleading & possibly condescending but they did get me to listen to the book. Maybe that was the author's goal. He spent a good amount of time reinforcing the leftist views on climate change and abortion. I applaud him for getting out of the bubble though and agree that would be good for everyone to do on occasion. I can't believe the disdain his family & friends had for him at his suggestion that he wanted to "talk to Republicans" but I'm glad he did.

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Every Republican and Democrat should read this.

The author listened to both sides and found we are all human and we must realize that we don't know any thing we haven't learned from others. We must always keep our ears, minds and hearts open to the views of others.

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finds the real issue in America

it went really fast and had me wanting to study the issues more. it's not earth shattering in it's revelations, just eye opening because we all see the problem every day. It just takes someone to help us actually acknowledge it. Ken does a great job of comfortably showing us what should be a very uncomfortable problem. one that every American should want to fix.