Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the fate of Nations
'A beautifully written, eminently readable, and uniquely important challenge to conventional wisdom' J. D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. Groups unite us, fostering a sense of belonging and taking care of some of our most basic needs. They have also, throughout history, divided us. Today the West - and particularly the United States - sees the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles: democracy vs. authoritarianism, communism vs. capitalism, the `free world' vs. the `axis of evil'. Abroad, our inability to recognise ethnic, religious, sectarian and clan-based tribes has led to stunning oversights in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. This hasn't always been the case. During its imperial heyday, for instance, Britain exploited the power of group identities by practicing ruthlessly successful, acutely group-conscious divide-and-rule policies to its advantage. Now political correctness has seen group-blindness become the norm, leading to disasters at home and abroad. Pundits miscalled the US election and Brexit because they failed to pay heed to the deep significance of political tribes at home. They didn't understand, and even looked down on, what matters most to ordinary citizens: not equality, not democracy, not grand ideals, but belonging to a group. 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, Political Tribes is Amy Chua at her best.
From the author of the international bestseller World on Fire and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a bracing and original look at the tension between our tribal instincts and our democratic political ideals
Political Tribes is a beautifully written, eminently readable, and uniquely important challenge to conventional wisdom ... Chua's book is a clarion call, encouraging us to reject the primal pull of identitarianism and return to that most radical of ideas, that Americans share something bigger than race or ethnicity or ideology: common citizenship and purpose -- J. D. Vance, author of 'Hillbilly Elegy' Amy Chua speaks hard truths that no one can ignore. We are, as Chua makes clear, living in denial about the power of tribalism over our domestic and foreign policy - blinded, it seems, by our own optimism and distaste for essentialism. A page turner and revelation, Political Tribes will change the way you think -- Tim Wu, author of 'The Attention Merchants' and 'The Master Switch' True to form, Amy Chua presents a provocative prescription to cure our political ills. She challenges us to cross the chasm between groups - not by denying differences, but by celebrating them -- Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of 'Give and Take' and 'Option B' with Sheryl Sandberg Another wonderful book by Amy Chua! In Political Tribes, she demonstrates once again that she ranks with the keenest observers of the contemporary landscape, establishing convincingly that 'Humans are tribal', and that this reality holds significant implications for America if we truly are to achieve a `more perfect union' -- General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret), former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and former Director of the CIA Brilliant, timeless and timely. Political Tribes concisely explains the forces that made our experiences in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq so maddeningly difficult to comprehend, and brings that same thoughtful analysis to America today. Amy Chua provokes thought - and we need that -- General Stan McChrystal, US Army (Ret) America is now bitterly polarised into rival identities. Amy Chua does a brilliant job of showing how it has happened and why it is a tragedy. In Britain, we need to read Political Tribes as a warning. For Americans, it is too late for that: it will need to be force-fed to them -- Paul Collier, Oxford University Amy Chua's insightful, provocative and deeply troubling book is the place to begin our long overdue national discussion on how to repair the deep divisions in the American political landscape. Political Tribes is a wake-up call to the dangers of surrendering national unity to a fractured landscape of feuding and narrow interests -- Tom Brokaw, author of 'The Greatest Generation' Entertaining, bracingly honest and yes, thought-provoking -- Praise for 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother' * New York Times * Blissfully funny -- Praise for 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother', India Knight * Sunday Times * When an entire nation reacts so strongly to something you know you have hit a nerve. And Amy did ... she should be applauded for raising these issues with a thoughtful, humorous and authentic voice -- Praise for 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother', Sheryl Sandberg Another wonderful book by Amy Chua! In Political Tribes, she demonstrates once again that she ranks with the keenest observers of the contemporary landscape, establishing convincingly that "Humans are tribal," and that this reality holds significant implications for America if we truly are to achieve a `more perfect union' -- General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret), former commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and former Director of the CIA
Amy Chua is the John Duff Jr. Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She is the author of World on Fire, Day of Empire, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, and The Triple Package (with Jed Rubenfeld) and is a noted expert in the fields of international business, ethnic conflict, and globalization. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and two daughters.