The Identity Trap – Yascha Mounk, in conversation with Helen Lewis
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Join Libreria at Second Home, as we welcome Yascha Mount and Helen Lewis to discuss Yascha’s latest book “The Identity Trap” In recent years, a new set of ideas about identity and social justice has rapidly transformed our culture and politics. Yascha Mounk’s latest book, The Identity Trap, traces the origins of these ideas, shows […]Second Home, Spitalfields Libreria
Join Libreria at Second Home, as we welcome Yascha Mount and Helen Lewis to discuss Yascha’s latest book “The Identity Trap”
In recent years, a new set of ideas about identity and social justice has rapidly transformed our culture and politics. Yascha Mounk’s latest book, The Identity Trap, traces the origins of these ideas, shows how they became so powerful so quickly, and explains why they will fail to accomplish their laudable goals.
The debate about “culture wars,” “identity politics” and “wokeness” tends to either celebrate these ideas uncritically or consists of polemical attacks that betray a lack of real understanding. The Identity Trap assesses this ideology in an even-handed, if critical, manner. Mounk traces its intellectual origins from the campus – in postmodernism, postcolonialism, and critical race theory – to the mainstream.
Mounk mounts a considered critique of the main applications of what he calls the “identity synthesis” to areas from cultural appropriation to the newly fashionable dismissal of the importance of free speech. Far from helping to build a more just society, he argues, these ideas form an ‘identity trap’ that is helping to fuel the rise of the illiberal right. He proposes a universalist alternative to enable a path forward, as we passionately stand up to persisting injustices.
Yascha Mounk is a writer and academic known for his work on the rise of populism and the crisis of liberal democracy. He received his BA in history from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, and his PhD in government from Harvard University. He is now a Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at John Hopkins University and the founder of Persuasion. Mounk is the author of The People vs Democracy: Why Our Freedom is in Danger and How to Save It and The Great Experiment: Why Diverse Democracies Fall Apart and How They Can Endure. He is also a contributing editor at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Publisher of Die Zeit.
Helen Lewis is a staff writer at the Atlantic, the host of BBC’s The New Gurus, and the author of Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights. Her weekly newsletter can be found at helenlewis.substack.com