The Power of Good Conversation

Good conversation can bridge divides, comfort us, and spark lively debate, but Drexel University's Paula Marantz Cohen believes how we talk to one another is in decline.

Listen 50:23

Paula Marantz Cohen comes from a family of loud and opinionated talkers. She said her mother was the “maestro of the dinner table” because of her ability to regale her family with colorful stories about her life.

Cohen believes in the importance of meaningful conversation because it gives us joy, surprise and insight, and engages us with others. In her new book Talking Cure, Cohen says that the art of conversation is under threat from partisanship, social media, conformity and censorship.

Honest conversation, Cohen says, is not about scoring points or even winning arguments. It’s about being vulnerable, honest, curious and authentic. It’s good for our mental health and good for civic engagement. Paula Marantz Cohen is an English Professor at Drexel University and joins us to talk about talking.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal