A World Made Safe for Differences: Cold War Intellectuals and the Politics of Identity / Edition 184

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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 counterculture 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."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Christianity Today
A brilliant young historian and social critic traces the ramifications of the postwar ideology of tolerance.
Provides a valuable critical lens for thinking about contemporary multiculturalism and its prevailing discourse of tolerance.
James T. Fisher
A World Made Safe for Differences will make a significant contribution to the field of American cultural and intellectual history. Shannon is becoming a leading voice in a radical reconsideration of modern American intellectual life.
Thomas Bender
Christopher Shannon is a highly original and provocative critic. Whether or not one agrees with the Catholic tradition out of which he writes, it cannot be denied that his perspective in A World Made Safe for Differences is challenging and illuminating in important ways, revealing heretofore unseen connections between modernity, secularism, culture, and identity in the work of leading postwar intellectuals. With this book he opens up new space for thinking freshly about the intellectual culture of the mid-twentieth century.
Amitai Etzioni
A very thought-provoking book for anyone interested in modern religious life, American secular society, and the complex and challenging relations between the two. Particularly intriguing is the book's study of the relationship between autonomy (and the self) and community (and culture).
Robert Royal
The main argument—that Western intellectuals during the Cold War sought to respect other cultures or non-mainstream movements even as they practiced subtle imperialism—is beautifully and forcefully demonstrated.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847690572
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Series: American Intellectual Culture Series
  • Edition number: 184
  • Pages: 184
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Shannon is assistant professor of history at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. He is the author of Conspicuous Criticism: Tradition, the Individual, and Culture in American Social Thought, from Veblen to Mills.

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Table of Contents

1 Integrating the World
2 Culture and Counterculture 27
3 The Negro Dilemma 47
4 Beyond the Unmeltable Ethnics 65
5 The Feminist Mystique 89
6 Compulsory Sexuality 109
Conclusion 127
Notes 137
Index 147
About the Author 155
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