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How to Disagree

Ian Leslie

Bringing valuable lessons from the cutting edge of communication science, How to Disagree does for our verbal communication what Thinking Fast and Slow did for our inner decision-making

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>Ian Leslie’s acclaimed new book reveals the secrets of how to disagree without fighting, and shows how mastering the techniques of productive disagreement can transform every aspect of our lives.

‘One of my favourite writers . . . Beautifully argued, desperately needed.’

‘Invaluable. The world will be a better place if everyone reads this book.’

‘A cool bath of sanity in a world of frenzied hot takes.’

‘Perspective-shifting in important ways.’

What is the secret of happy relationships?

How do companies build collaborative cultures?

What lies behind some of the greatest scientific and creative breakthroughs?

The surprising answer is: conflict

Whether it’s at work, at home or in public, confronting our differences is the only way to make the most out of them. How to Disagree is about how to do that successfully.

Drawing on essential lessons from world-class experts on how to disagree well and combining them with inspiring stories of productive disagreements from science, technology and the arts, Ian Leslie reveals how we can reap the benefits of diverse viewpoints in an era that feels more divided than ever.

‘I nodded and underlined my way through the book’s nearly 300 pages of eloquent, thoughtful advice . . . If you want to argue better, Leslie’s manual will be invaluable.’

‘Leslie has a way of bringing fresh perspectives and telling anecdotes to obdurate subjects. Here he talks to everyone from hostage negotiators to divorce lawyers to show how conflict has driven successful companies and technological advances, and to offer ways to harness it in daily life.’


How to Disagree was previously published in 2021 under the title Conflicted.

Critic Reviews

One of my favourite writers . . . Beautifully argued. Desperately needed.

Malcolm Gladwell
Critic Reviews

Invaluable. The world will be a better place if everyone reads this book, and because it's so entertaining they probably will.

Philippa Perry
Critic Reviews

Perspective-shifting in important ways.

Oliver Burkeman
Critic Reviews

Ian Leslie's writing is a cool bath of sanity in a world of frenzied hot takes.

Helen Lewis, Sunday Times bestselling author of DIFFICULT WOMEN
Critic Reviews

What a brilliant idea . . . to help us engage in dialogue by learning how to disagree. Ian Leslie is a master at this sort of book and it shows here.

Daniel Finkelstein, author of EVERYTHING IN MODERATION
Critic Reviews

Ian Leslie is one of our most brilliant science writers, and Conflicted is his best yet. It's full of wisdom and surprise and is exactly what we need in a world where disagreement itself feels like it's coming under threat.

Will Storr, author of SELFIE

Ian Leslie is a journalist and author of two acclaimed books on human behaviour, Born Liars, and Curious. His first career was in advertising, where he worked as a strategist for some of the world’s biggest brands at ad agencies in London and New York. He now counsels business leaders on communication and writes about psychology, technology, politics and business for the New…

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