One can argue there are no books more relevant in the past couple of years than Amanda Ripley's High Conflict. Released a few months ago, the intent of this book is to have the reader better understand why people get into massive arguments and disagreements with people and the ways to avoid or remedy these situations. While I really enjoyed the book, it was not because of the reasons I had expected.
I have written here before how much I have liked books by Malcolm Gladwell and those similar. These are the non-fiction books that have a few ideas to get across and the author does so by offering fascinating anecdotes to make their points through varied stories. In the best books, I feel like the salient viewpoint the author is expressing is about 25% of what's offered, while 75% are the relatable stories. And, if done well, both leave an indelible mark.
This book tried to follow a similar formula. It was clear the author had some very specific explanations of why and how we get into a high conflict and a number of suggestions about ways to remove ourselves. Interestingly, I didn't actually find those items captivating. In fact, if you want to jump to the CliffsNotes version of her findings, there is a nice 2-3 pager at the end summarizing what she's learned and suggests.
But, skipping to the end would be a large mistake. You would miss the real reason to read this book -- the fascinating stories she offers to illuminate her points. Like Gladwell, and others before her, she works to have about 75% of her book offering stories to better illustrate her points. And, while I think she only did a marginal job using these stories to support her arguments, the stories themselves are excellent. She chooses fewer rather more; she ensures the characters are interesting; she gives you depth about their background and details about the conflicts that were created and how they moved past them (never cleanly).
As a whole, it's quite a worthwhile book. Perhaps you get more out of it from the self-help side than I did. While there are a number of suggestions and ideas for people/society, most boil down to communication. Really, just engage in conversations with people, listen better, be more open with your viewpoints and have some empathy. The anecdote for so many of our societies problems is empathy (easier said than done, right?), But, while you are searching for those answers, make sure you enjoy the personalized stories she shares; they are excellent!