Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (Issues of Our Time)

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W. W. Norton & Company, Feb 17, 2007 - Political Science - 240 pages

“One of the few world intellectuals on whom we may rely to make sense out of our existential confusion.”—Nadine Gordimer

In this sweeping philosophical work, Amartya Sen proposes that the murderous violence that has riven our society is driven as much by confusion as by inescapable hatred. Challenging the reductionist division of people by race, religion, and class, Sen presents an inspiring vision of a world that can be made to move toward peace as firmly as it has spiraled in recent years toward brutality and war.

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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


CHAPTER The Violence of Illusion
CHAPTER Making Sense of Identity
CHAPTER Civilizational Confinement
CHAPTER Religious Affiliations
CHAPTER West and Anti West
CHAPTER Culture and Captivity
CHAPTER Globalization and Voice
CHAPTER Multiculturalism and Freedom
CHAPTER Freedom to Think
Names Index 199

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About the author (2007)

Amartya Sen has written many books, including Development as Freedom and The Argumentative Indian. He won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics. A professor at Harvard University, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Cambridge, England.

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