Why subscribe?

I’m Zach Elwood, the host of the psychology podcast People Who Read People, where I often discuss polarization and conflict. I’m also the author of Defusing American Anger.

This Substack newsletter is for people who want to help reduce the toxicity of our us-vs-them divides in America. I think you’ll get value out of it if any of the following are true:

  • You’re worried about toxic us-vs-them anger in America and want ideas on what you can do to help with that problem.

  • You have a job that requires you to think about our political/cultural divides (e.g., a manager, an HR professional, a marketer who wants to speak to a wide range of people).

  • You’re a political activist who wants to learn some conflict resolution principles (which, in my opinion, are also powerful tools for accomplishing one’s goals).

  • You work in the political depolarization space and want to stay in touch with what I’m doing, or just want some occasional ideas.

  • You want to support me in my work. (All subscribers encourage me to work on these problems. Money from paid subscribers I use to improve and promote my work.)

Details about the content

Some details about the stuff I’ll write and about what you get for a paid subscription:

  • Content that is more business/organization-related will be reserved for paid subscribers, with the idea that people who are interested in this for work-related reasons are more likely to be willing to pay. (For example, I plan to do a post about a consultation I did for someone who wanted ideas for resolving an internal conflict at their organization.)

  • I can’t promise how often I’ll write posts, but my hope is to post 2-3 things a month.

  • I want to use this to showcase work from other people working on these problems (for example, the many great depolarization-aimed books out there that unfortunately are not well known in the mainstream).

About me

My name is Zachary Elwood, and I’m the author of the book Defusing American Anger, a book with the same focus as this newsletter (read some reviews of that book). I decided to write that book after doing a lot of polarization-related talks and research for my podcast, People Who Read People (you can see the politics-related episodes here). On Twitter, I’m at @apokerplayer.

One of the things that has encouraged me in this work is the American citizens, on the right and left, who’ve told me my work has helped reduce their us-vs-them animosity, and helped them see our divides in a new light. As I like to often say: you can think one political group is much worse than the other while still seeing us-vs-them polarization as a major problem, and while seeing the importance of embracing depolarization strategies. In other words, we shouldn’t let our anger at the “other side” get in the way of us working on this problem: if we use our anger as an excuse to not work on this problem, we’ll never get better.

To find out more about Substack (the platform this newsletter runs on), visit Substack.com.

Subscribe to Defusing American Anger: A depolarization endeavor

Resources and ideas for people interested in reducing the toxicity of political divides in America. From Zachary Elwood, author of "Defusing American Anger" and "How Contempt Destroys Democracy."


I'm the author of Defusing American Anger. I've been thinking about and talking about political polarization for the last few years, often on my psychology-focused podcast People Who Read People.