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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of The Origins of Political Order offers a provocative examination of modern identity politics: its origins, its effects, and what it means for domestic and international affairs of state 

In 2014, Francis Fukuyama wrote that American institutions were in decay, as the state was progressively captured by powerful interest groups. Two years later, his predictions were borne out by the rise to power of a series of political outsiders whose economic nationalism and authoritarian tendencies threatened to destabilize the entire international order. These populist nationalists seek direct charismatic connection to “the people”, who are usually defined in narrow identity terms that offer an irresistible call to an in-group and exclude large parts of the population as a whole. 

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. The universal recognition on which liberal democracy is based has been increasingly challenged by narrower forms of recognition based on nation, religion, sect, race, ethnicity, or gender, which have resulted in anti-immigrant populism, the upsurge of politicized Islam, the fractious “identity liberalism” of college campuses, and the emergence of white nationalism. Populist nationalism, said to be rooted in economic motivation, actually springs from the demand for recognition and therefore cannot simply be satisfied by economic means. The demand for identity cannot be transcended; we must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy. 

Identity is an urgent and necessary book - a sharp warning that unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continuing conflict. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2018 Francis Fukuyama (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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Robotic narrator

Book content was excellent, but the gentleman narrating it for audible audiobook version read it like a robot reads an official memo.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good one if ur new to Fukuyama

Nice book only if u r new to Fukuyama but if u have read his others books then I think he is not offering that much of new thing other than repacking his idea

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Helpful understanding current political climate

Despite the dreadfully boring, nasal delivery by P.J. Ochlan (some words even mispronounced), the ideas Fukuyama expresses are thought provoking. The first part is somewhat like a philosophy summary class, which Ochlan's delivery makes sound more like a lecture than when I read it. But from Chapter 10 forward, the ideas are presented in ways which make them so applicable to the current world in which we live, something for which I am very grateful. I have been having a difficult time appreciating how people can vote the way they do, and understood it far better after reading this. It helps me appreciate how even poor character, self-aggrandizement and self-focused authoritarian personalities can garner support.

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Important Book; Destroyed.

If you can withstand unbearably horrible narration; narration so incredibly bad that you almost can't believe it; narration that gives rise to homicidal thoughts that you didn't even know you were capable of; narration that makes you long for (1) a chalkboard to scrape your fingernails on while (2) shooting your brains out with a very strong gun, then this is the audiobook for you.
As far as books go, it's good. It's good in terms of being read - by you... not by this horrible, bad, in need of reprimand, so bad you can't believe it's possible, so called narrator. Dear GOD! WHY! Oh Audible... Please find someone... anyone... to re-read this. The book is too good to be destroyed by such an amazingly horrible narrator. Jeez.......

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Narrated by a robot?

While the book is very interesting, it was hard to follow along with such an unnatural narrator. The inflection at the end of every sentence is exactly the same as the one before. Strange.

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The narration is so distracting!

The narration of this title sounds like a computer generated voice with vocal fry. This made this book very difficult to listen to.

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A brilliant analysis of politics in 2018

Francis Fukuyama is one of the best political thinkers we have. Identity builds on his brilliant, but misunderstood The End of History and the Last Man, and his two-volume world history of political power, and brings the argument into our current political situation, with a proto-fascist President, and a wobbly Democratic party, which has a hard time at mobilizing and unifying a broad alliance against Trump.

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vocal fry at the end of every sentence

I found the performance significantly detracted from the story. It took a few chapters before I was able to focus on the content

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Great way to put current events in perspective

As usual, Francis Fukuyama lays out the historical, sociological and political background of humans in a clear, understandable account that allows us to make sense of where we are now. I found his introductory remark comforting, that he was moved to write this book by the election of Trump. We need to see how this happened and be prepared to work for change, if we want to change the course we’re on.

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Astute, engaging analysis of our present political moment.

An entirely accessible account of the impact and effect of identity in all of its various manifestations in the era of emergent nationalism. A vital book to read numerous times in order to comprehend the era of Trump.

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  • Good Grain
  • 11-12-18

Blandly academic

It starts badly with a dull disposition on the misunderstandings around his once famous but now rather dated book "The End of History and the Last Man" which really should have been left out as irrelevant to the topic at hand. It picks up thereafter but it doesn't offer anything beyond an academic overview of some of the key writers about identity over the last few hundred years and in this regard it is unspectacular but passable. Alas once it hits more modern times it becomes ever closer to a bog standard soft left editorial devoid of anything fresh to say and hence bland.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-15-18

Helps to understand the 'why' of modern issues

This book does a great job of creating a common thread between issues that are intuitively connected but hard to articulate. It was dense at times, and has some assumed knowledge of history and philosophy, but still peices together the role of identity, particularly in transnational issues, in a compelling way.