Brothers Talk Across Political Fault Line

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Political arguments between Allen Mann (from left), an evangelical Lutheran, and his brother Brian,

Political arguments between Allen Mann (left), an evangelical Lutheran, and his brother Brian, a middle-of-the-road Methodist, intensified after the 2004 elections. Courtesy Brian Mann. hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy Brian Mann.

Efforts to reach common ground in America aren't just about red states and blue states. These days, the rift can be far more intimate — between husband and wife or between brothers.

That's the case for Brian Mann and his older brother, Allen. Brian thinks of himself as a moderate: a middle-of-the-road Methodist. His brother is an evangelical Lutheran, and he thinks of Brian as a liberal.

The two men always argued about politics. But in recent years, things began to get ugly. Words such as "outraged" and "disgusted" punctuated their arguments.

The brothers made a pact to get together more often, sharing vacations and sitting down for family dinners in order to try to bridge the gap.

Brian Mann, a reporter for North Country Public Radio, tells the story of searching for common ground in his family in his book, Welcome to the Homeland. Although the process has been difficult and sometimes painful, Mann says their lives and views have been enriched by their ability to talk across the divide.

Books Featured In This Story

Welcome to the Homeland

A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution

by Brian Mann

Hardcover, 288 pages |


Purchase Featured Book

Welcome to the Homeland
A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution
Brian Mann

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from