Letters and Politics

America’s Political Tribalism

Mitch Jeserich talks to Amy Chua about her latest book Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations.  Amy Chua is the John M. Duff Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

About the book:

In Political Tribes, Chua argues that humans are tribal and that 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.

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