In Marin / READING LIST
MM: How did the process of researching and
writing this book change you? Did it only
serve to further increase empathy, or did
any of your views shift along the way?
AH: In the process of researching Strangers,
I got to know people who generously opened
their lives to me in the hopes that I would
“get” how it is they feel, and as best I could,
that’s what I tried to do. And whenever we
try this, it deepens us, I think. And that’s
what it did to me — I feel like I came home
deeper. Before writing this book I might
have described myself as somewhat opinionated and rigid. Maybe I wanted to work
on that fixity, to see if I could develop a
capacity to move from one perspective to
another. But did it change my political commitments? No.
MM: The ideas presented in your book seem
more important now than ever. What would
you say to Americans who feel that the people
who make up this country itself are divided?
AH: I would agree that there are very
strongly held differences in viewpoint,
left and right, and that the forces pushing
us apart are growing and those pulling us
together are as of yet weak. I wish for more
people to reach across the divide — and there
are a lot of pop-up groups trying to help
people do that. Check out some of the 70 or
80 smaller groups housed under an umbrella
group called the Bridge Alliance.
MM: What would you as a sociologist say
to those who have a difficult time putting
themselves in another’s shoes? How can
they begin to develop empathy?
AH: I think most people are highly capable
of empathy, but they just don’t apply that
capacity to those they think of as “the other.”
So it’s a matter of resolving to apply a high-level capacity to an important new task:
reaching across the divide. CALIN VAN PARIS
Author Talk Strangers in Their Own Land:
Anger and Mourning on the
American Right by Arlie Russell
Hochschild (Berkeley), The New Press,
$17.99. Arlie Russell Hochschild
— one of the most influential soci-
ologists of her generation — spent
the five years that preceded the 2016 presidential
election immersed in the community of Lake Charles,
Louisiana, a Tea Party stronghold. A National Book
Award Finalist, this work is a timely and fascinat-
ing exploration of empathy, context and, ultimately,
humanity. Appearing at Dominican University in con-
versation with KQED’s Michael Krasny April 18, 7 p.m.
This is the 2018 One Book One Marin culminating event.
Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna
Yen (San Francisco), William Morrow,
$26.99. A brilliant young woman
navigates the thrilling world of
Silicon Valley in the boom years
of the tech industry, working for
some of the greatest minds of our
time, in this fast-paced satirical and revealing novel.
Author Anna Yen is uniquely qualified to tell this tale,
having reported directly to some of Silicon Valley’s
most respected leaders, including Steve Jobs, Elon
Musk, David Drummond and Larry Kramer. This is
an engrossing story of a professional woman storming the corridors of geek power. Appearing at Book
Passage Corte Madera April 10, 7 p.m.
The Manson Women & Me by
Nikki Meredith (Marin), Citadel,
$26. In the summer of 1969,
Leslie Van Houten and Patricia
Krenwinkel carried out horrific
acts of butchery on the orders
of the charismatic cult leader
Charles Manson. At their mur-
der trial the following year, lead prosecutor Vincent
Bugliosi described the two so-called Manson
women as “human monsters.” Meredith visits with
Van Houten and Krenwinkel in prison to discover
how they had changed during their incarceration.
Appearing at Book Passage Corte Madera in conversation with KQED’s Michael Krasny April 13, 7 p.m.
Local Page Turners
Reviews by Book Passage Marketing
Manager Zack Ruskin.
We sat down with
Russell Hochschild to
discuss Strangers in
Their Own Land: Anger
and Mourning on the
American Right, this
year’s selection for
One Book One Marin.