Communication Expert Admonishes Americans to Get Along Better By Being More Honest with Themselves

Endorsed by a broad spectrum of prominent leaders, artists and writers, An Effort to Understand presents a new personal and civic philosophy for Americans "in a nation cracked in half."
Communication Expert Admonishes Americans to Get Along Better By Being More Honest with Themselves

Press Release ( - CHICAGO - Jan 29, 2021 - Today, Disruption Books announced the forthcoming publication of An Effort to Understand: Hearing One Another (and Ourselves) in a Nation Cracked in Half, a new book by rhetoric authority and celebrated writing blogger David Murray will be launched on March 2, 2021. Drawing on wisdom gained over three decades of working with professional writers and psychologists, oral historians and journalists, Murray offers insights for Americans who seek to repair relationships strained to breaking—in politics, at work, and at home.

Its title taken from Robert F. Kennedy’s desperate, eloquent call for peace on the night of Martin Luther King’s assassination, An Effort to Understand asks its readers to think, talk and behave differently in every aspect of their lives—as leaders and the led, as colleagues and friends, as family—and even in relationship with themselves.

Especially in relationship with ourselves,” says Murray. “I’ve discovered there are so many things we are doing all the time that are unintentionally and stupidly driving people away—and so much that we might be doing to make connections with one another.”

With a warm blend of humor and heart, Murray’s book reads like a free-wheeling conversation about how we communicate in America. In essays like “We Deserve Leaders Who Act Like They Like Us,” and “Speaking Truth to Power: Talking to Myself,” Murray gives readers a window into everyday American discourse.

And the book’s many enthusiastic endorsers include some of the most respected leaders in American government, business and culture. Among them, podcaster Phoebe Judge calls the book “a worthy and reparative tool for these times.” “His words could not be more important,” says General David Petreaus. And Muhammad Ali biographer Jonathan Eig calls it “an insightful book packed with wonderful writing, practical advice and hope for a better, kinder future.”

Guided by a sensitive ear for the lessons of history—and perfectly timed for this profound time of transition in America and around the world—An Effort to Understand shows that the personal and political gulfs between us are small compared to our common desire to connect—and our common need for trust, peace and a measure of solidarity.

An Effort to Understand is now available for pre-order on Amazon (…) and wherever books are sold.

An Effort to Understand
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Paperback: $16.99, Ebook #XX.XX
ISBN: 978-1-63331-048-3

Editor’s Note: Review copies of the book are now available. To receive a copy or book the author for an interview, please contact:

Reviews and excerpts and author interviews are available upon request; please email:


About the Author: David Murray heads the global Professional Speechwriters Association and comments daily on communication issues on his popular blog Writing Boots ( He is an award-winning journalist and is editor and publisher of Vital Speeches of the Day, one of the world’s longest continuously published magazines. He is the author of Raised By Mad Men, a memoir about his advertising parents, and co-author of the New York Times bestseller Tell My Sons: A Father’s Last Letters.




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