Foster resilience in the face of political polarization

Unsettled by provocative news, clashing politicians, and social fragmentation, Americans struggle to navigate the challenges of living in a divided country. Facing the Fracture offers a path out of the distress and disempowerment plaguing everyday people. Grounded in psychological research, this book offers readers strategies to reduce toxic input from media, manage polarizing thoughts and feelings, and engage effectively with others. And they will learn that they have the power to improve their personal well-being, relationships, community, and country.

Tania Israel is a Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and award-winning author of Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work (APA, 2020). She has shared her work on navigating political polarization widely, reaching campuses, conferences, corporations, congregations, elected officials, and communities.


“This book is a master class for every American exhausted by toxic division and looking for a way out. Dr. Israel offers a refreshingly evenhanded look at the challenge and empowers us with practical tools that quickly build resilience, strength, confidence, and hope.”

Pearce Godwin, founder, Listen First Project

“Enlightening, empowering, and thoroughly entertaining! In helping us to control what we’re confronted with, become resilient, and react meaningfully, Tania Israel offers clever insights, frequent grins, and the exact tools we desperately need right now. Above all, though, she
gives us hope.”

Starshine Roshell, award-winning journalist; media literacy advocate

“Tania Israel has provided us with a comprehensive and incredibly insightful understanding of polarization in our country. Readers of this treasure of a book will be informed, empowered, and optimistic about one’s future and that of our nation. I strongly recommend this compelling and timely resource!”

Melba J. T. Vasquez, former president, American Psychological Association

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed and even hopeless about our divided nation, don’t give up, Read Facing the Fracture! Tania Israel’s levelheaded, evidence-based ideas will leave you empowered and inspired, with a clear set of practical strategies for strengthening your family, community, and country.”

Jason Marsh, executive director, The Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley

“Facing the Fracture guides us toward a future where Americans can be more emotionally fortified, interpersonally skilled, and profoundly optimistic about our country. This important book provides a road map for personal empowerment, helping us overcome the stresses and challenges of our deeply polarized times.”

—Jamie Metzl, founder and chair, OneShared.World; author, Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity and Superconvergence: How the Genetics, Biotech, and AI Revolutions Will Transform Our Lives, Work, and World

“Facing the Fracture addresses the dilemma every sentient being wrestles with: how do we disagree with others without losing our minds? Wise, informed, openhearted, and revelatory, Tania Israel is onto something big. We’re not as different as we think!”

—Alan Watt, best-selling author, Diamond Dogs and The 90-Day Novel: Unlock the Story Within; founder, L.A. Writers’ Lab

“At a moment of extreme division and polarization, Dr. Israel provides practical insights to find our common humanity with those we disagree with. As a Gen-Z member, I can confidently state that young people are looking to lead with empathy and hope—this book provides us with a great how-to guide.”

—Manu Meel, cofounder and CEO, BridgeUSA; host, The Hopeful Majority podcast

“In this candid and courageous book, Tania Israel offers a blueprint for finding greater fulfillment and connection in polarized times. I strongly recommend this book to fellow academics, students, and others navigating conflict and division. Facing the Fracture offers wisdom that we need right now.”

—Tenelle Porter, assistant professor, Rowan University; intellectual humility researcher

“We are all too aware of how political polarization is fracturing our lives and how news avoidance threatens our civic duty. Dr. Tania Israel offers us hope and a road to engagement. She gives us original and practical ways of dealing with these issues in our day-to-day lives and provides a wealth of data that debunks what we think we know about our fellow citizens. To find out more, you’ll have to read her eye-opening book . . . and I strongly recommend you do!”

—Deanna Lee, former head of communications at the Carnegie Corporation, The New York Public Library, and the Asia Society; ; former senior producer, ABC News

“Although it feels like we are facing an impossible divide in this country, Tania Israel’s new book offers an optimistic vision for navigating political hostility. She debunks myths about polarization, corrects our distorted perceptions, and lays out a scientific framework for opening minds and bridging divides.”

—Jay Van Bavel, professor of psychology and neural science, New York University; coauthor, The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities to Improve Performance, Increase Cooperation, and Promote Social Harmony

“Worried about politics? You could duck and hide and hope it will blow over, or you can read this book.”

—Lisa Swallow, cofounder and executive director, Crossing Party Lines, Inc.; author, Yes, You CAN Talk Politics

“Many of us feel discouraged, if not hopeless, about bridging the gap with people who have opposing political opinions. Dr. Tania Israel has provided us with a gift in the form of a highly readable book that is full of actionable tips that, when followed, increase the likelihood of beneficial conversations across political lines. I am so grateful to her—you will be too.”

—Adam Dorsay, PsyD, licensed psychologist; host of the award-winning SuperPsyched podcast

“Not only does America need Dr. Tania Israel’s strategies for reducing polarization, but—maybe more importantly—we need her clear-eyed optimism. Word by word, sentence by sentence, Facing the Fracture helps us deconstruct what divides us, teaches us how to listen and, ultimately, how to heal.”

—Beth Macy, New York Times best-selling author, Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

“Tania Israel’s new book is a primer for the politically perplexed. In clear, clever, cogent writing Israel argues for empathy and care while seeking engagement with others we see as different. The book offers many practical suggestions to prepare ourselves to engage, as well as actually talk the talk and walk the walk through dialogue and bridgebuilding for the future. A useful guide for all citizens!”

—Sheryl Bowen, PhD, faculty director, Dr. Terry Nance Center for Dialogue, Villanova University