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The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity

Who do you think you are? Thats a question bound up in another: What do you think you are? Gender. Religion. Race. Nationality. Class. Culture. Such affiliations give contours to our sense of self, and shape our polarized world. Yet the collective identities they spawn are riddled with contradictions, and cratered with falsehoods.Kwame Anthony Appiahs "The Lies That Bind" is an incandescent exploration of the nature and history of the identities that define us. It challenges our assumptions about how identities work. We all know there are conflicts between identities, but Appiah shows how identities are created by conflict. Religion, he demonstrates, gains power because it isnt primarily about belief. Our everyday notions of race are the detritus of discarded nineteenth-century science. Our cherished concept of the sovereign nationof self-ruleis incoherent and unstable. Class systems can become entrenched by efforts to reform them. Even the very idea of Western culture is a shimmering ...

Title : The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity
Author :
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ISBN : 38321385
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 256 pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity Reviews

  • Steve

    Liked this book so much! Reminded me of his Cosmopolitanism book. Very good discussions of things like race, nationality, sex but I most of all liked his treatment of religions and cultures.

  • Sanjida

    Clear, insightful writing on religion, class, ethnicity and culture, eschewing and debunking essentialist framings. Appiah is a kindred spirit to my own views and this book is a delight.

  • Sylvia Vetta

    More on identity! Thank you Kwame Anthony Appiah

    Do you know how it feels to read thoughts that echo your own? I’ve just read Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Lies that Bind. My second novel Sculpting the Elephant explores identity and crossing cultures. In Oxford we have the world’s first public museum in the Ashmolean. Before the 2009 rebuild all the departments were little boxes but after the refit the collections were arranged as reflects the best of humanity – ‘Crossing cultures crossing time.’


  • Daniel Zaltsman

    Look no further for a book to expand your worldview. This one was a pleasure to read and helped me to learn more about the elements that make up identity including religion, class, culture, ethnicity, race, gender and sexuality. It comes from a philosopher's perspective, rooted in history of the world, and in lockstep with the times in which we're in. Look forward to reading more from Mr. Appiah.

  • Hank

    Initially, I didn't think I was going to like this book as much as I did. It's smart and reasonable and generslly well written but it also meanders a little more than I'd like.

    But after finishing, I think that's somewhat on purpose: it's a meditation on just how complicated "identity" can be and how many of our preconceptions about it are unreasomable or simply don't tell the whole story. And it does that very well.

    Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.

  • Elliott Cheung

    Written in relatively simple and understandable vocabulary. This was my first book by Appiah and I appreciated seeing his pattern of thought via the connections he drew. Having grown up with a religious background I found the points he made in the Religion chapter about both homosexuality and Scriptural authority a little less compelling than, for example, his later two chapters - which do have a stronger rhetorical spin coupled with the support of classic intellectuals such as Hegel and Weber. ...more

  • Joshua Born

    I had high expectations for Kwame Anthony Appiah's The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. Its title – describing as it does identities based on membership in a group as "lies" – foreshadowed that my reading of it would be an extended session of proverbial preaching to the choir. Such is my antipathy toward the extended tribalism that is, unfortunately, human civilization. Furthermore, an encounter with a synopsis of the book had spoiled to me that its dénouement turns upon its own theme and ma ...more

  • Sid Groeneman

    Like any writing that's seriously analytical, this book requires some effort to get the most from it. But readers interested in the topic of "identity" who put in the work will be rewarded. The author, a professor or philosophy at New York University, devotes a chapter to each of the five bases of modern identity: creed, country, class, color and culture. The book's value lies in debunking each concept as having an essential uniqueness that binds together all sharing that identity. As one exampl ...more