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The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  10,648 ratings  ·  1,673 reviews

Like Leadership and Self-Deception, The Arbinger Institute's first book, The Anatomy of Peace has become a worldwide phenomenon—not because of a media blitz, movie tie-in, or celebrity endorsement, but because readers have enthusiastically recommended it to colleagues, relatives, and friends.

The Anatomy of Peace asks, What if conflicts at h
Paperback, 2nd edition, 288 pages
Published July 13th 2015 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published January 1st 2006)
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Paula Not true in the sense that these exact people ever met in the same room. True in the sense that these people represent characteristics and life experi…moreNot true in the sense that these exact people ever met in the same room. True in the sense that these people represent characteristics and life experiences of humanity in general. It is very true to human nature. (less)

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Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three reasons I wanted to hate this book: 1. Not written by a person but by an institute? 2. "Personal Growth" is the genre listed on the back--ugh! and 3. It just had cheesy corny all over it.

And then, when I began reading, and everything felt horribly contrived...ok, WAS horribly contrived, I thought, how am I going to get through this. And then. THEN.

The "teaching" characters in the book tell us this story of a military/political leader from 1187 AD who had remarkable successes and abilities.
Nov 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Arbinger Institute came out with a book to precede The Anatomy of Peace, called, Leadership and Self-Deception. They both present a paradigm shift in the way we percieve those around us. The Anatomy of Peace has influenced how I interact with others within the walls of my own home more than any other book save the Bible or Book of Mormon.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
“We separate from each other at our peril.”
― The Arbinger Institute, The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict


“...whenever I dehumanize another, I necessarily dehumanize all that is human---including myself.”
― The Arbinger Institute, The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict

It is seldom I will actually praise a self-help or business-oriented book. They are usually pamphlets expanded, filled with bad writing, cliches, and seem destined to continually try to rebottle old
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: Jeff Vincent
I'm responsible for my own feelings - CRAP! I hate it when that's true :-)
Jun 11, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Well, I think this book has an important message. It made me re-think some aspects of my life and offers some very true advice. The diagrams are helpful for the visual learner.

Unfortunately, the book is quite painful to read. It is one of those books that tries to teach concepts via a story. But in my experience, this delivery method comes across contrived and somewhat condescending. If I am going to read a self help book, I would rather have the information set forth in a clear, well-written wa
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rachel by: Leslie
Shelves: motivational
The idea that things that we do can feed into problems that we have with others is powerful, especially for people who like control. I really liked the concept that when we perceive others as being wrong, and ourselves as being right, we prevent ourselves from looking at different (and better or more effective) ways of approaching others.

This book has made a difference for good in one of my relationships, and I am grateful for that.

Beyond that, the book is corny. The setting for teaching is a W
7 stars again! Another paradigm shifting book. This is the sequel to the leadership and self deception book which i recently finished and loved. While that was marginally business included but essentially about relationships this is almost totally about relationships but can also be applied to the business setting of course. This book gives you a governance structure with which you can go about fundamentally changing some of the most troublesome relationship in your life, at work or at home. One ...more
Sammy Loves Books
Bruises heal more quickly than emotional scars do.


There is a question I have learned to ask myself when I am feeling bothered about others: am I holding myself to the same standard I am demanding of them?
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I couldn't decide how many stars to give this. On one hand, I appreciated the narrative style of presenting self-help information. I often get bored reading non-fiction, so this was appreciated despite the very contrived feel of the story line. On the other, it was contrived, and like other reviewers have mentioned, the insights into Lou's mind were hit-or-miss on helpfulness. Also, if I'd known before I read it that the Arbinger Institute was Mormon-run, I may have skipped it entirely. In my ex ...more
Sarah Jane
Sep 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The writing is awful.

I used to work for a wilderness therapy program but even if I hadn't had that experience I would still be able to sum up this book and Leadership and Self Deception: don't be a jerk. Or be a jerk, if you really want, but then don't be surprised when things don't go your way.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I could have, I would have given this book 3 1/2 stars. It was good, but it wasn't my favorite book ever. It wasn't even a book that I would go around recommending to everyone.

I thought the message of the book was great. I liked the way they gave a good visual for the inner conflict of everyday choices. It was a great message to tell people who don't "get it."

However, halfway through the book, I was done. Firstly, I was done with the exhaustingly long train of thoughts that Lou goes through
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this for my master's program and we had a little mini seminar on it. I have to admit that even though I love to read, I am never very excited to read a self-help book. I dislike introspecting and am not very good at it, so concepts that require examining my motives or my sub-conscious issues don’t resonate with me at all. I find that trying to figure myself out is tiring, confusing, and, frankly, quite boring.

Because of my prejudice against this particular genre, I approached reading The
Steve Hemmeke
If you are in a relationship of long-term conflict, read "The Anatomy of Peace." The main purpose of this book is to get the reader who is in conflict to reflect upon his own contributions to the conflict. Since our natural tendency is to blame the one we're fighting, we need to reconsider that our posture toward the situation and our "enemy" is a major factor. The longer we are in conflict, the more strongly we deny this, but it remains true.

We tend to objectify people instead of be at peace wi
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Like I said in my review of the other Arbinger book (Leadership and self-deception), I love these ideas and hate the delivery. I feel the same way about this book, but I guess I hate the delivery less. The problem with the delivery is that they treat the reader like he's an idiot. The other problem is that they assume it's a HE. In all of them, the principle character is a dude and the women's "boxes" are also examined but as a sidebar. The ideas are certainly not gendered--they are universal an ...more
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
I began reading trying to argue with the author because I didn't like the "authors" hiding behind "the institute". Come out and say who wrote it and why! I spent too long investigating that Ferrell mainly, and Warner wrote it. I don't like Ferrel's style of writing, I couldn't finish Peacegiver or Bonds... by Warner either. Too cumbersome!
I was annoyed by the long pretentious list of lds famous people who endorse the book. Why do you need so many endorsements of the book? It's so inbred! The con
Jul 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was highly recommended by a senior executive in my organization, so I felt compelled to consider it. The Arbinger Institute is a consulting group based in Utah, with a focus of helping "solve the problems created by self-deception." It's largely based on the ideas of C. Terry Warner, a philosophy professor at BYU.

This book presents a more direct application of ideas presented in the Institute's first book "Leadership and Self-Deception." In this second book, the ideas are taught in the
Monica Evans
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't like the delivery of the message (super cheesy stereotypical characters) but I liked the message itself. Most of the book was filled with fake dialogue with a parent playing devils advocate with a counselor who was presenting the ideas. Despite the painfully fake characters, this book did help me see myself in a new way and led to a great book club discussion. You could probably find a better book with a similar message though... like the Bible or The Book of Mormon. ...more
Rebecca L.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I recently finished The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict on audio from Audible. It was recommended to me by my church. I used it to help provide background information for a small group study that we did this January regarding some divisive issues. My church people found it to be a helpful read and many of them enjoyed it. The thing that they liked most about this book was that it was a framed story that reads similar to a novel. I have found that what my people (and people in ...more
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was really struck by how this book takes such a difficult topic - conflict- and helps you see what causes it and how to get out of it. I recommend this to everyone who feels like life is against them, to those who feel like they are underappreciated, to those who feel stressed all the time! Really it is for everyone, because we all need a little help.
Claudia Brown
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am unsure how to begin writing a review for an experience that have deeply changed my heart. I have always been firm about reading books for distraction, since life has a way of making me dwell too much in stressful situations.

As I started my EMBA program, this book was one of our assignments for a class. To my surprise, this assignment has made an impact in my life and my heart that I could have never in a million years foreseen.

After many tears shed during this reading, I feel my eyes are op
Philip Joubert
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Fantastic follow up to Leadership and Self-Deception. They build on the principle of "being in the box" and talk about the 4 narrative types we tell ourselves when we're in the box. After reading the book I immediately found it useful reflecting on the narratives I've been telling myself.

The four types of narratives we tell ourselves when we're in the box are:

1. Better Than
You see yourself as superior to others. You think you're more important and that your cause or viewpoint is the most virtuou
I just created a book list called Books That Changed My Life, and this book is on there. It's a powerful book because it took me out of my current perspective of people and opinions and lifted me outside of them a bit--so I can look at my opinions on the people around me and change them if I need to. And don't we all have relationships that need improving?

The powerful points of this book for me:

1. If I'm unhappy, I am the one who needs to change
2. I can choose a heart of war or a heart of peac
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone should read thus book. Periodically.
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book was recommended to me by one of my younger brothers. He feels that it is easier to read (and that the story is easier to relate to) than what is found in The Bonds That Make Us Free: Healing Our Relationships, Coming to Ourselves by C. Terry Warner. Warner is a founder of the Arbinger Institute, the author of this book. Though the same basic concepts are taught in this book, I much prefer The Bonds That Make Us Free. Though that book isn't perfect either, I gave it four stars and wrote ...more
Cindy Rollins
Jan 27, 2017 rated it liked it
It is embarrassing how many audiobooks I have read in the last two years and how many of them are books I grabbed on a whim because they were on sale for two or three dollars. If it wasn't for audiobooks I would be reading far less because I am home far less. This bugs me so much that I intend to make sure I am not pulled in so many different directions in the near future. In my defense, a good bit of my not being at home has been because I am in having to travel to my parents frequently, someth ...more
Todd Dean
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and thoroughly enjoyed the principles it shared. I’m usually more a data driven person when it comes to reading behavioral-psych but the narrative form of this just struck true with me. !WARNING! It can feel very corny at times but let that go and enjoy the ride.

The best part of the book, for me, was learning about the four forms of self-deception. To anybody who reads this and wants to talk about it...this is an open invitation to talk to me about this book at. any. time. Inc
Kyle Berg
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Free on audible currently. I have learned so much about myself and the tendencies of my heart towards people I am in conflict with. After listening/reading this book I have learned that my heart at war, rather than at peace, will never give me what I need. I Highly recommend this book for those willing to do the shadow work necessary to create change within themselves and then in their community.
Ian Stewart
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A sequel (and narrative prequel) to Leadership and Self-Deception again written in the style of a “Church Movie Night” drama. You’ll know it if you’ve seen one: It’s teachable moment after teachable moment piled on in dialogue after dialogue. Again excellent despite that. Mostly a reiteration and expansion of the previous book though this one draws out more of the stoicism implicit in the ideas here. The key idea is again something like: “You and everyone on the planet are going to feel a desire ...more
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book about resolving conflict. I like how they used real life scenarios and characters to represent the different types of mindsets people have. It made it relatable and showed examples instead of just blanket statements.
Whitney Redfern
The dialog was annoying sometimes, but the concept Anatomy Of Peace teaches is valuable and life changing. Highly recommend!
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Arbinger was founded in 1979. Since then, Arbinger has worked with thousands of individuals and organizations and helped them to transform their effectiveness and performance.

Early on, Arbinger’s growth was fueled solely by clients who spread the word about Arbinger’s impact. Arbinger’s public profile was then dramatically increased by the global success of its first book, Leadership & Self Decept

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