by Jeanne Martinet
If there were ever a book for our age, Mingling with the Enemy is the one. Most of the advice is common sense and seems obvious on paper. However, four years of bitter, civil-war-esque brother-against-brother divisiveness have made this guide on civil, friendly, and kind conversation a must. The author uses much humor and personal experiences to lead through the potential mine field of sociality. In her preface, the author muses on the putting together of this book, which is meant for both a conservative and liberal audience. She writes, “This has been the hardest book I have ever written. Especially since the 2016 election, many Americans regard each other as the enemy, based on how they voted or how they feel about one or more of the issues. To write a book that basically tells people, ‘No matter what anyone says to you, no matter how wrong you think they are, you must always behave well in social situations’ was a formidable task.”
This book was a great reminder that we must strive to guard the familial and other relationships we cherish. Rarely will we change anyone’s mind about a subject they feel strongly about, particularly in just a few minutes. But we certainly can learn again the art of polite, friendly, and fun conversation with everyone, no matter their background or inclination. This is a must for our society to survive.
Book Review by Nathalie, Circulation Assistant