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Identity

The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment
Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good book, horrible narration

I really wanted to listen to this book but the narration is horrible. Gave up. Sounds like I am listening to a computer or some kind of automaton. Don't understand why Audible can't reliably get decent narration for its books.

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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.

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  • Shahin
  • 19-09-2018

Robotic narrator

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

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Brad
  • 14-11-2018

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.......

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-09-2018

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

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-05-2019

great book, bad narration

this is fantastic, but it took me a couple hours to get used to the narration. listen to a preview before purchasing..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • 26-03-2019

Good but ignored a crucial point

The author made a good case but I believe he ignored finer points that might have painted a different picture. Perhaps that came from a lack of a hands on knowledge of what he spoke of or perhaps he was blindsided by political perspective. I think two things must be added: firstly identities can be cultivated but also can also be consumed as a product. Second: the american situation is gridlocked artificially by the involvement of money and a wealthy donor class. Identity came to the front precisely because it served as a distraction from the rising economical inequalities brought by neo-liberalism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • hans sandberg
  • 25-10-2018

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeremias Pink
  • 22-10-2018

Not Fukuyama's strongest work.

The solution to the rising problem of ethnonationalism is nationalism? We can bemoan the divisiveness of "identity politics" or we can see outcries over injustice from communities of women, migrants, and minorities as democracy in action. The white nationalist reaction to these movements is a concern, but the solution is not for minority communities to "assimilate" into anglo american cultural norms, nor is it simply the creation of a more inclusive American identity. In a global political economy the old notion of the nation state as a bounded territory with a common language and set of values no longer works. In many parts of the world it never did. The creation of more just, democratic institutions will require us to embrace cultural difference, not the developmemt or reformulation new forms of national identity. Why should the burden of assimilation be placed on those communities that have historically been the most disenfranchized? In the US, it is those of us who enjoy positions of privelege who need to learn to adapt to a more open, inclusive society.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 14-07-2019

Great book destroyed by horrible reading

Is it possible to make fascinating ideas sound boring?

Yes it is! Have P. J .Ochlan speak them out loud!

I like this book. Fukuyama is great on this topic. Listen to the interviews with him whenever you can, or buy the printed book. But I couldn't even finish this book. This narration style is probably the worst I've heard in an audiobook.

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  • herold
  • 12-07-2019

Robot voice not human

I have just finished The End of History and I loved it. I want to listen to this program too, but this narration kills me. I'll return it.

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  • Russell
  • 24-01-2019

A cogent narrative of how we got to now

Fukuyama puts an interesting historical/political frame around the last few hundred years. A very worthwhile read. I have read Yuval Noah Harari, Jared Diamond, and Siddhartha Mukherjee. If you enjoyed their books, you'll likely enjoy this. This book puts a narrative structure around what we have observed in our politics recently and will make a lot of seemingly disparate things in your head click into place.

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  • Olly Buxton
  • 03-06-2019

Mediocre arguments presented by terrible narrator

If Fukuyama is struggling to retain credibility after The End of History then this old-fashioned, pedestrian affair is not likely to help. Certainly not with a narrator that sounds like a speak-and-spell. Only 6 and a half hours long, no real penetration or insight into the issue du jour, citing Hegel, Kant and Hobbes like some sophomore term paper - there must be better efforts than this.

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  • AGGELOS IOAKIMIDES
  • 31-03-2019

Is so bad that it does not allow the content work

Yes it is very theoretical. Yeah it has difficult context to elaborate on. Yes it does not have. All of this is impossible to follow with the worst narration I have ever heard! Placing periods every four words and throwing commas around, finishing the sentence in the middle, without any understanding of context, any feel for the story, and tonality that sounds like an awful commercial. I really think this book should be re-recorded because the audiobook is destroyed by the narration. It sounds like it is machine made. Dr Sbaitso, not an audiobook. I will finish it because I payed for it and because it is interesting. I will wrestle. 40% in and I suffer.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-01-2019

Some important and urgent insights

Clear minded consideration of the dynamics of identity vis a vis the liberal democratic state, posing some important questions and making some urgent and fair recommendations. Just annoyed that he grounds it in ancient Greek ideas about the mind rather than the modern science of psychology, which does not get mentioned once!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • P Howorth
  • 28-01-2019

Not so sure about this one.

I felt quite uneasy listening to this at times. I'm centre-right but I listen to and respect the opinions and work of an awful lot of liberals. But here there were quite a few occasions, increasingly towards the end, where I felt the author's bias coming through. Ordinarily I'd say a bias is to be expected, but it led to the author explaining certain elements of current affairs in a way that would lead someone less informed to confirm opinions they may hold about things the media are currently publishing, regarding trump and the right wing. He made several points that conflict with information I'm currently reading in Black Rednecks and White Liberals, as well as passing disingenuous comments about trump, all while defending and sympathising with the left. The biggest gripe for me being the incident at Charlottesville and trump's comments about "both sides" which he cleared up about 100 times since, and then the author makes vague statements about trump nodding to white supremacy. I don't even like trump and I have a clearer view of things than this book does.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Good Grain
  • 12-11-2018

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.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful