The Lies That Bind by Kwame Anthony Appiah

The Lies That Bind

From the best-selling author of Cosmopolitanism comes this revealing exploration of how the collective identities that shape our polarized world are riddled with contradiction. Who do you think you are? That’s 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 ...

Details The Lies That Bind

TitleThe Lies That Bind
Release DateAug 28th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Philosophy, Politics, Cultural, Psychology

Reviews The Lies That Bind

  • Robin Friedman
    A Nightmare A Body's Got To Live With In The DaytimeRobert Coover's, recent novel "Huck out West" carries the story of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and related characters through the Civil War to 1876. The story is told in Huck's voice with many observations, some cutting but some insightful. Among the latter sort, Huck says in this book discussing what contemporary readers would recognize as the concept of identity:"Tribes"... They're a powerfu...
  • Sara
    The author is a Ghanian/ British philosopher who has spent most of his career in the US. He gets a little academic at times, but does a brilliant job of dissecting and debunking ideas of identity around "creed, country, color, class and culture," showing how too much of our thinking about those things are left over from bad 19th century ideologies. He doesn't think we can get rid of identity in the sense of social groups, but "the problem is not ...
  • 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.
  • Mythili
    Reads like a series of undergrad lectures. I generally agree with him and enjoyed the board range of references he drew from but didn’t feel challenged or pushed or particularly surprised by anything in this book (and sometimes felt he oversold his argument). I would be very interested to read more about the life of Anton Wilhelm Amo Afer, though.
  • Chris
    When I read Cosmopolitanism, it was exactly what I needed; finally somebody was making sense, finally someone with global morals. Here, Appiah comes very close to Cosmopolitanism (which I consider his best statement, and which I’ve loaned to friends and raved about). However, The Lies that Bind covers a LOT of ground, and I found some strawmen in his arguments and is dismissive of European enlightenment & reformation cultural innovations in a w...
  • Salvatore
    A good primer on the subject. Identities are necessary to growth, to self-awareness, to challenge. And yet identities/groups/sub-groups don't explain the nuances. It's a delicate balance, a continuous push and pull of which we really need to be consistently aware. Appiah has some good examples, especially when it comes to class (the race and country chapters also dive deeper). But on the whole this is more of an introduction than a thorough inves...
  • Jennifer Fredin
    Very good. Most identities are vague at best. One should reflect the identities one claims.