Political Tribes

Political Tribes

Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations

Book - 2018
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Penguin Putnam
The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua offers a bold new prescription for reversing our foreign policy failures and overcoming our destructive political tribalism at home
Humans are tribal.  We need to belong to groups.  In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most &; the ones that people will kill and die for &; are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based.  But because America tends to see the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles &; Capitalism vs. Communism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, the &;Free World&; vs. the &;Axis of Evil&; &; we are often spectacularly blind to the power of tribal politics.  Time and again this blindness has undermined American foreign policy. 
In the Vietnam War, viewing the conflict through Cold War blinders, we never saw that most of Vietnam&;s &;capitalists&; were members of the hated Chinese minority. Every pro-free-market move we made helped turn the Vietnamese people against us. In Iraq, we were stunningly dismissive of the hatred between that country&;s Sunnis and Shias.  If we want to get our foreign policy right &; so as to not be perpetually caught off guard and fighting unwinnable wars &; the United States has to come to grips with political tribalism abroad.
Just as Washington&;s foreign policy establishment has been blind to the power of tribal politics outside the country, so too have American political elites been oblivious to the group identities that matter most to ordinary Americans &; and that are tearing the United States apart.  As the stunning rise of Donald Trump laid bare, identity politics have seized both the American left and right in an especially dangerous, racially inflected way.  In America today, every group feels threatened: whites and blacks, Latinos and Asians, men and women, liberals and conservatives, and so on. There is a pervasive sense of collective persecution and discrimination.  On the left, this has given rise to increasingly radical and exclusionary rhetoric of privilege and cultural appropriation. On the right, it has fueled a disturbing rise in xenophobia and white nationalism.
In characteristically persuasive style, Amy Chua argues that America must rediscover a national identity that transcends our political tribes.  Enough false slogans of unity, which are just another form of divisiveness. It is time for a more difficult unity that acknowledges the reality of group differences and fights the deep inequities that divide us.

Baker & Taylor
The Yale Law School professor and best-selling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother outlines bold recommendations for reversing America's foreign policy failures and overcoming destructive political tribalism at home.

& Taylor

Discusses the failure of America's political elites to recognize how group identities drive politics both at home and abroad, and outlines recommendations for reversing the country's foreign policy failures and overcoming destructive political tribalism at home.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, [2018]
ISBN: 9780399562853
Branch Call Number: 320.973 C4706p 2018
Characteristics: 293 pages ; 24 cm


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Oct 13, 2019

An important contribution to the discussion of political and cultural conflict. Amy Chua makes a vital contribution to the debate on sectarianism and cultural differences in which United States foreign, political and military policies have run afoul of in diplomatic attempts and military actions due to a narrow mindset focused on democracy as the sole remedy to conflicts abroad. Also, Chua discusses forthrightly American political tribalism and identity politics as sowing seeds of inequality, separateness, and discord within our own country. She offers much to reflect on, take stock of, and think about re these realities and hopefully inspire us to make much needed changes. Highly recommend.

A book about the formation of tribalism among various ethnic and political groups around the world. A historical perspective to the reasons behind the seemingly unbridgeable gap in present day politics. Very well-written and highly recommended.

Jan 01, 2019

Everyone should read this book, no matter whether you are left-leaning or right-leaning politically.

Dec 09, 2018

A solid examination as to why America has lost so many wars, and is so racially and economically divided.

Jul 05, 2018

Trump is a fan of the WWE; that explains a lot

Jun 05, 2018

Chua distils a complex concept into an easily understandable, ideologically balanced, and thoroughly entertaining read. Tribes are clearly providing the social cohesion we once derived from nation states, and we ignore them at our peril.

Apr 23, 2018

She describes a super-group as one made up of multiple smaller groups (ethnic, religious, etc.) which as a group have a common theme that pulls them together. For her the U.S. is the only one in the world. She apparently knows little about Canada and so I wonder how much she doesn't know about the rest of the world.
The best parts are the early chapters on how poorly the U.S. has done on the international front - mainly Viet Nam and Iraq..well done, concise summaries.
Worth a read - not too long.

Apr 04, 2018

This book introduces the concept of political tribes by briefly discussing the tribes that are players in the problems of Brexit, France, Germany and Trump. Then it devotes more extensively the past errors of American foreign policy because of our ignorance of tribes in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Venezuela (America's foreign policy "experts" too Anglo centric to understand how to deal with the tribalism?). The book then briefly discusses the two basic tribes in America - the white working class in middle-America/the South and the more diverse class basically in the two coasts and in the urban areas.

Mar 09, 2018

Whenever I read or hear Amy Chua, professor at Yale and Tiger Mom character, and her husband, I think on how profoundly stupid they sound!
We are all born equally ignorant, but to remain so, after the age of 30 or 35, denotes one as profoundly stupid - - no other description suffices.
Chua's latest book reinforces her profoundly stupid image, perfectly capturing her habitually oblivious mental state and pure non sequitur writing form!
Having read and heard countless episodes of American workers being replaced wholesale by foreign nationals [or foreign visa replacement workers] and/or their jobs being offshored - - and to read/hear the Ivey League illiterati choose to ignore and willfully remain ignorant of these facts, Chua's pointless drivel and murky meanderings come as no surprise - - simply another futile exercise in tree wastage to drive her ego-fueld inanity!
Recent surveys strongly suggest that as much as 90 percent of the job growth over the past 10 years can be attributed to the // gig economy \\, i.e., Taskrabbit, Uber, Lyft, et cetera, et cetera. [For those still uninformed about Taskrabbit and similar so-called high tech employment; its purpose is to reduce work time down to 15 and 10-minute intervals so as to pay workers and laborers as little money as possible!]
Chua and hubby no doubt are oblivious to such Reality or heartily welcome it!

Mar 04, 2018

I'm sure this has been covered before. However, Amy Chua makes the process of understanding the tribal conflicts around the globe simple to understand. She really does not give us a solution to the problems except by believing in the American dream and communicating with each other. George Carlin best explained the American Dream by stating that one has to be asleep to believe it. In any event..................it was a fun quick read.

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