NSL Reading List, 2018

Below is a preliminary reading and resource list to look at to prepare yourself for a summer in the United States. This is by no means  exhaustive. These resources form part of the new NSL Academy where we are expanding our mission to teach and inform people of how to use stories to inspire change, not just in the Middle East, but wherever people feel stuck in an old story.

Writers like Grossman, Orwell and Morrison remind us that language soon becomes a casualty of war, and how violence  defeats our human capacity to imagine the other, or to express those finer and softer emotions of compassion and mercy and love.  The research institute CNS tells us that our capacity to change is determined by our capacity to listen. If people are stuck in their old stories, its largely because they are not listening to themselves. It is why NSL is so insistent on teaching people how to listen.

Selected Bibliography

  • Articles 

    Writing in the Dark by David Grossman- the foremost Israeli writer

    Story as the Shape of Our Listening by the Center for Narrative Studies (CNS)

    The Gift of Speech by Toni Morrison-American Authors Nobel  speech

    Politics and the English Languageby George Orwell- the famous essay


    Road Trip Nation was always a favorite of earlier programs, the account of a group of American students who decided that, instead of graduating into the normal, expected roles of life, they wanted to find their own path. To do that, they bought an old green bus and went on a road trip across the continent interviewing amazing people who broke the mold, and found their own unique role in life.  We used to ask all our students to conduct two or there interviews in the Road Trip Nation style before they came to Washington, and while in DC. It is a great way to find mentors.NSL’s WALL OF STORIES

    What makes NSL work so special is that every summer, we listen to amazing stories from amazing young people and we record them and add them to what we all our Wall of Stories.  Anyone who visits Jerusalem knows that it is a City of Walls. Our idea was to use our stories as if they were part of these walls, and turn each brick into a window, where the window opens into a story that you can click and listen to. These windows open on each side of the wall, and allow you to travel where perhaps you have never traveled before. It is what we know about stories, in that they don’t need passports of visas, and they can get across any check points. You can’t defeat a good story and if people take the risk of listening, they take the risk of being changed.


The best way to discover your own story is to explore the story of others. Coming to Washington in the Presidency of Barack Obama is an opportunity to learn his story, and understand how he governs is a function of his narrative, and how it joins the larger American story.  Other great stories are Martin Luther King Jnr and Eleanor Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Dorothy Day. Some works here look at Power ( Nye, Machiavelli, Alinsky Plato) or get inside an election campaign and how it uses stories, (Presidential Plot) The final few texts remind us that even UN Secretary Generals ( Hammarskjold) and Roman Emperors ( Marcus Aurelius) have  deep interior lives. They  take time to listen to their conscience, their intuition, and write it in their personal journals.


Our main Text book has been
The Power Paradox Dacher Kaltner about how to win and how to lose power and influence- based on the latest research.



Page 5 – The Application Form


“Change the Story? Change the World!”

New Story Leadership 276 Carroll Street NW Washington, DC 20012 Phone: 240-476-1123