Political Tribes

9781408881576

‘A beautifully written, eminently readable and uniquely important challenge to conventional wisdom’ J. D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy

Never has our society felt more divided.

In Political Tribes, Amy Chua diagnoses the cause of our current political discord: tribalism. In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most – the ones that people will kill and die for – are ethnic, religious, sectarian or clan-based. Time and time again our blindness to tribalism has undermined our foreign policy.

At home, we have recently witnessed the rise of identity politics, a movement that encourages us to define ourselves against, and thereby exclude, others. The shock results of the US election and the Brexit referendum show that tribalism is a social truth that we ignore at our peril. When people are defined by their differences to each other, extremism becomes the common ground, and the grand ideals of democracy have a hard time competing with a more primal need to belong.

If we are to transcend our political tribes, we must rediscover a broader, more nuanced unity that acknowledges the reality of our group differences. Insightful, challenging and provocative, Amy Chua’s groundbreaking book could not be more timely.

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