• The Conversation

  • How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations
  • By: Robert Livingston
  • Narrated by: Desmond Manny
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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The Conversation

By: Robert Livingston
Narrated by: Desmond Manny
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Publisher's Summary

Finalist for the Financial Times and Mckinsey Business Book of the Year Award

An essential tool for individuals, organizations, and communities of all sizes to jump-start dialogue on racism and bias and to transform well-intentioned statements on diversity into concrete actions — from a leading Harvard social psychologist.

“Livingston has made the important and challenging task of addressing systemic racism within an organization approachable and achievable.” (Alex Timm, co-founder and CEO, Root Insurance Company)

How can I become part of the solution? In the wake of the social unrest of 2020 and growing calls for racial justice, many business leaders and ordinary citizens are asking that very question. This book provides a compass for all those seeking to begin the work of anti-racism. In The Conversation, Robert Livingston addresses three simple but profound questions: What is racism? Why should everyone be more concerned about it? What can we do to eradicate it? 

For some, the existence of systemic racism against Black people is hard to accept because it violates the notion that the world is fair and just. But the rigid racial hierarchy created by slavery did not collapse after it was abolished, nor did it end with the civil rights era. Whether it’s the composition of a company’s leadership team or the composition of one’s neighborhood, these racial divides and disparities continue to show up in every facet of society. For Livingston, the difference between a solvable problem and a solved problem is knowledge, investment, and determination. And the goal of making organizations more diverse, equitable, and inclusive is within our capability.

Livingston’s lifework is showing people how to turn difficult conversations about race into productive instances of real change. For decades he has translated science into practice for numerous organizations, including Airbnb, Deloitte, Microsoft, Under Armour, L’Oreal, and JPMorgan Chase. In The Conversation, Livingston distills this knowledge and experience into an eye-opening immersion in the science of racism and bias. Drawing on examples from pop culture and his own life experience, Livingston, with clarity and wit, explores the root causes of racism, the factors that explain why some people care about it and others do not, and the most promising paths toward profound and sustainable progress, all while inviting readers to challenge their assumptions.

Social change requires social exchange. Founded on principles of psychology, sociology, management, and behavioral economics, The Conversation is a road map for uprooting entrenched biases and sharing candid, fact-based perspectives on race that will lead to increased awareness, empathy, and action. 

This audiobook includes a PDF of charts and illustrations that can be used interactively with this program.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 Robert Livingston (P)2021 Random House

Critic Reviews

“A one-stop resource for anyone wanting to understand the causes and manifestations of racism.... There is nothing wishy-washy here: all assertions are backed up with research and explanations.... Just right for this moment...invaluable...clear step-by-step advice.” (Financial Times)

“Dr. Robert Livingston is a leader in identifying steps to combat bias, and his work is a critical resource for those committed to expanding inclusion and belonging. At Airbnb we have been lucky to partner with him on these important efforts, and we know that The Conversation will be a tool for anyone seeking to advance equality.” (Brian Chesky, CEO and co-founder, Airbnb)

“An extraordinarily timely book. Just as companies and organizations in the U.S. and around the world are focusing anew on the entrenched bias in their culture, The Conversation comes along to offer a path forward. The Conversation is a major achievement.” (Robin J. Ely, Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School)

What listeners say about The Conversation

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One of the best books

A thorough and realistic approach to having conversations that can result in addressing and eradicating racism. The mix of scientific data and simple examples, really breaks opens a person mind on what is really going on with racism and makes you seriously think if you are just professing wanting racism to end or truly want to be active and make change. A must read for anyone who believes they have a platform to help folks on their journey toward antiracist behavior

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Awful

The book helped me understand why some humans believe in racism and some do not but all humans prejudge.

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Essential, data-based, solutions to end racism.

Careful coalescing of practical wisdom and actions needed to do the work for effective, positive change.

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terrific book

great stuff, too be sure. should be required reading in c-suites, for managers, and leaders.

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An important "Read" for humanity.

Dr. Livingston has written an excellent book about the history of racism, the detrimental effects it has on all races, and how we can begin to dismantle it. This should be mandatory reading in middle school+ and at the work place.

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Read this book!

Super practical and hope- filled book with how to's on starting and sustaining a productive conversation about racism.

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Game changer

Presented with compelling data and relatable analogies, the conversation sheds light on a cancer that has plagued our country for far too long. However, there is hope but we need to start speaking truthfully and this book will help show us the way.

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Excellent

One of the most thorough, well-researched, logical, and actionable books on the origins of racism and specific anti-racist behaviors, systems, and policies that can be used to dismantle racial bias and discrimination.

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highly recommend

I loved this book and it will definitely be one of my highest recommendations to clients, friends, family, pretty much everyone for the coming year.
I will say that I ended up buying the hard copy because of the amount of research and images that play out in the book, which I found helpful having both.