> Skip to content
  • Published: 14 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847942968
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

Poles Apart

Why People Turn Against Each Other, and How to Bring Them Together




A groundbreaking work on why people become so divided - and how they can brought back together.

We humans are social animals, naturally driven to form close-knit groups. All too often, though, these groups become partisan. They start to compete with one another. They become mutually hostile. Why does this happen? And what can be done to counter the tendency

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, by meticulously showing how and why polarisation affects every part of our lives - influencing everything from our friendship circles to our approach to health issues - 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.

  • Published: 14 September 2021
  • ISBN: 9781847942968
  • Imprint: Random House Business
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

About the authors

Ali Goldsworthy

Ali Goldsworthy has spent over 20 years active in politics and campaigning. A former Deputy Chair of the Liberal Democrats, she led the team that built the fastest growing campaigning organisation in the UK. In 2017 she was a Sloan Fellow at Stanford, creating its first depolarisation course and claiming numerous awards for her work. Ali has written for the Telegraph, Independent, New Statesman and Financial Times.

Laura Osborne

Laura Osborne is a professional communicator and change maker, with a background in public affairs and government communications. Currently Communications Director and a spokesperson at London First, the voice of London’s largest businesses, she was the UK Consumer Association’s first Head of Corporate Affairs, working with some of the UK’s biggest corporates to directly intervene to improve the banking, energy and telecoms markets for consumers.

Alex Chesterfield

Alex Chesterfield is a behavioural scientist with a Masters in Cognitive & Decision Science. She currently works in financial services, leading a team of psychologists to encourage consumers to make better decisions and drive ethical business cultures. For four years, she was an elected Councillor in Guildford for the Conservative Party and has personally experienced the effects of affective polarisation, both in and out of the workplace.

Related titles