Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny

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Penguin Books India, 2007 - Political Science - 215 pages
2 Reviews

Profound and humane, Amartya Sen's Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny examines some of the most explosive problems of our time and shows how we can move towards peace as firmly as we have spiralled towards war.

In this penetrating book, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen argues that we are becoming increasingly divided along lines of religion and culture, ignoring the many other ways in which people see themselves, from class and profession to morals and politics. When we are put into narrow categories the importance of human life becomes lost.

Through his lucid exploration of such subjects as multiculturalism, fundamentalism, terrorism and globalization, he brings out the need for a clear-headed understanding of human freedom and a constructive public voice in Global civil society. The hope of harmony in today's world lies in a clearer understanding of our sheer diversity.

'Identity and Violence is a moving, powerful essay about the mischief of bad ideas'
  The Economist

'Impassioned, eloquent and often moving, Identity and Violence is a sustained attack on the "solitarist" theory which says that human identities are formed by membership of a single social group'
  John Gray, Guardian

'Rich in ideas ... I would love to send it to Osama bin Laden and have his reply'
  Spectator

'Sen's moving and most personal book yet'
  The Times Literary Supplement

'Stimulating ... simple and persuasive'
  Financial Times

'An accessible and exceptional humanitarian'
  Jon Snow, New Statesman Heroes of Our Time

Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998. His other books published by Penguin include The Argumentative Indian and The Idea of Justice.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kant1066 - LibraryThing

This book is interested in the question of human identity, its inherent multiplicity, and the choices that we make in regard to aligning ourselves with certain identities over others. We all have ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Mandarinate - LibraryThing

Sen's point is that conflict is reduced when we recognize that individuals can hold multiple identities. It's a good point, but rather obvious in today's world of large scale immigration. Unfortunately, Sen does not pursue his idea very far so the book is pretty uninteresting. Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER The Violence of Illusion
1
CHAPTER Making Sense of Identity
18
CHAPTER Civilizational Confinement
40
CHAPTER Religious Affiliations
59
CHAPTER West and AntiWest
84
CHAPTER Culture and Captivity
103
CHAPTER Globalization and Voice
120
CHAPTER Multiculturalism and Freedom
149
CHAPTER Freedom to Think
170
87
187
Names Index I 99
199
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Amartya Sen is one of the world's leading public intellectuals. He is Professor of Economics and Professor of Philosophy at Harvard. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1998 to 2004, and won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998. His many celebrated books include Development as Freedom (1999), The Argumentative Indian (2005) and The Idea of Justice (2010). They have been translated into more than 30 languages.

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