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In A World Made Safe for Differences, Christopher Shannon examines how an anthropological definition of culture shaped the central political and social narratives of the Cold War era. In the middle decades of the twentieth century, American intellectuals understood culture as a "whole way of life" and a "pattern of values" in order to account for and accommodate differences between America and other countries, and within America itself. Shannon locates the ideological origins of current debates about multiculturalism in the pluralist thought of "consensus" liberalism. The emphasis on individualism in contemporary identity politics, Shannon suggests, must be understood as a legacy of the Cold War liberalism of the 1950s rather than the counter-culture radicalism of the 1960s. A World Made Safe for Differences is a highly original and controversial book that will be of great interest to students and scholars of twentieth century American history.
Chapter 1: Integrating the World
Chapter 2: Culture and Counterculture
Chapter 3: The Negro Dilemma
Chapter 4: Beyond the Unmeltable Ethics
Chapter 5: The Feminist Mystique
Chapter 6: Compulsory Sexuality