Alexandra Chesterfield

Poles Apart
  • Poles Apart

  • Why do people become divided?
    What steps can we all take to reduce hostility and bring about understanding?

    Poles Apart has the answers.

    In Poles Apart, an expert on polarisation, a behavioural scientist and a professional communicator explain why we are so prone to be drawn into rival, often deeply antagonistic factions. They explore the shaping force of our genetic make-up on our fundamental views and the nature of the influences that family, friends and peers exert. They pinpoint the economic and political triggers that tip people from healthy disagreement to dangerous hostility, and the part played by social media in spreading entrenched opinions. And they help us to understand why outlooks that can seem so bizarre and extreme to us seem so eminently sensible to those who hold them.

    Above all, they show what practical and effective steps we can all take to narrow divisions, build respect for others, and create a greater degree of common understanding.
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    'Poles Apart is an extraordinary achievement: fresh, deeply authoritative, and entertaining on every page. Everyone talks about polarisation, but no one does it like Goldsworthy, Osborne, and Chesterfield. You'll finish this book wiser, kinder, and more hopeful than when you started it.' Jamie Susskind, author of Future Politics

    'A fascinating and thought-provoking analysis of the divisions between us, how we bridge them, how we reshape the world - and ourselves too. Essential reading.' Cathy Newman, presenter of Channel 4 News and author

    'Asks the best question I have ever heard. And, critically, offers solutions. A must read.' Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy UK, and author of Alchemy

    'Technology may have connected the world, but it's now being exploited to divide and polarise us. This is a pivotal moment for this book to be written, read and understood.' Peter Gabriel, musician

Alexandra Chesterfield is a behavioural scientist with a master's degree in Cognitive and Decision Science. Forever curious about why we do what we do, she currently works in financial services, leading a team of behavioural scientists to help get better outcomes for employees and customers. For four years, she was an elected Councillor in Guildford for the Conservative Party. She has personally experienced the effects of affective polarisation, both in and out of the workplace.

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