Andrew Forsthoefel

Listening Advocate
Peace Activist
Travels from: Freeport, ME

“The ideal antidote for even the strongest bout of national doubt . . . [with] frequent descriptive gems.” – Washington Post

Andrew Forsthoefel is a writer, speaker, and peace activist living in Maine. After graduating from Middlebury College, he was ready to begin his adult life, but didn’t know how. So he decided to take a cross-country quest for guidance, in which everyone he met would be his guide. In the year that followed, he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered incredible kindness from strangers of all different kinds. Thousands shared their stories with him, sometimes confiding their prejudices, too. Often he didn’t know how to respond. How to find unity in diversity? How to stay connected, even as fear works to tear us apart? He listened for answers to these questions, and to the existential questions every human must face, and began to find that the answer might be in listening itself.

After his year-long walk across America, Andrew began telling the stories from his transformative journey. He co-produced a radio documentary about this project that was featured on “This American Life,” and his book, Walking to Listen, goes deeper into the stories and explores the practice and philosophy of walking to listen. Andrew now writes and speaks about the discipline of listening and its role in the work of reconciliation, transformational resistance, and peace-making at the personal and collective levels. He is an itinerant teacher, offering walks and workshops that train participants in the work of becoming a trustworthy listener. His work is a contribution to the collective project of learning how to be alive together with love, by listening—united by our diversity, empowered by sharing the unavoidable vulnerability of being human, and freed by opening up to ourselves and one another.

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Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time

Bloomsbury |
Nonfiction

A memoir of one young man’s coming-of-age on a cross-country trek–told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the highways of America.

At twenty-three, Andrew Forsthoefel walked out the back door of his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, with a backpack, an audio recorder, his copies of Whitman and Rilke, and a sign that read walking to listen. He had just graduated from Middlebury College and was ready to begin his adult life, but he didn’t know how. So he decided he’d walk. And listen. It would be a cross-country quest for guidance, and everyone he met would be his guide.

Walking toward the Pacific, he faced an Appalachian winter and a Mojave summer. He met beasts inside: fear, loneliness, doubt. But he also encountered incredible kindness from strangers. Thousands shared their stories with him, sometimes confiding their prejudices, too. Often he didn’t know how to respond. How to find unity in diversity? How to stay connected, even as fear works to tear us apart? He listened for answers to these questions, and to the existential questions every human must face, and began to find that the answer might be in listening itself.

Ultimately, it’s the stories of others living all along the roads of America that carry this journey and sing out in a hopeful, heartfelt book about how a life is made, and how our nation defines itself at the most human level.

Walking to Listen

Stories and Teachings from a Walk Across America

Living to Listen

The Work of Peacemaking and Transformational Resistance for a Divided World.

Listening is the Missing Medicine

An Antidote to the Mental Health Crisis

The Spiritual Technology of Listening

Cultivating a Fierce and Tender Heart

Reimagining Masculinity by Listening First

For Men in the Age of #MeToo

You Gotta Feel It to Heal It

Listening to Heal Racism and White Supremacy

Coming of Age

On Becoming an Adult

Do You Know Your Colleagues?

Why Listening is Good Business

Andrew in the News

Andrew’s Upcoming Events

Andrew’s Blog – Living to Listen

Andrew’s Podcast

Honors, Awards & Recognition

This American Life Featured Author
The Moth Featured Author
Living to Listen Podcast

Media Kit

By clicking the link below your will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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