Martha C. Nussbaum
The Monarchy of Fear:
A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis
This event includes a book signing
September 4, 2018
6:30 PM ET
(Doors at 6:00)
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Boston Review welcome distinguished philosopher and professor MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM for a discussion of her new book The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis.
About The Monarchy of Fear
For decades Martha C. Nussbaum has been an acclaimed scholar and humanist, earning dozens of honors for her books and essays. In The Monarchy of Fear she turns her attention to the current political crisis that has polarized America since the 2016 election.
Although today’s atmosphere is marked by partisanship, divisive rhetoric, and the inability of two halves of the country to communicate with one another, Nussbaum focuses on what so many pollsters and pundits have overlooked. She sees a simple truth at the heart of the problem: the political is always emotional. Globalization has produced feelings of powerlessness in millions of people in the West. That sense of powerlessness bubbles into resentment and blame; blame of immigrants, blame of Muslims, blame of other races, blame of cultural elites. While this politics of blame is exemplified by the election of Donald Trump and the vote for Brexit, Nussbaum argues it can be found on all sides of the political spectrum, left or right.
Drawing on a mix of historical and contemporary examples, from classical Athens to the musical Hamilton, The Monarchy of Fear untangles this web of feelings and provides a roadmap of where to go next.
“Nussbaum is one of the most accomplished political and moral philosophers of our time . . . there is almost no domain of political and moral life and thought that her work and apparently endless curiosity have not explored.” ― William Adams, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
“Nussbaum is an elegant and lyrical writer, and she movingly describes the pain of recognizing one’s vulnerability. . .” ― Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker
"A philosopher considers Trumpism through the lens of history, classical thought, and a bit of Hamilton. Like any clearheaded thinker, Nussbaum was unsettled by Trump's election, but she's troubled also by the way people of all political persuasions have succumbed to fear and mindless fear-slinging. She tries to keep Trump at arm's length and focus instead on what philosophers and psychologists going back to antiquity have had to say about fear...its role in stoking anger, disgust, and envy, and how those emotions, in turn, perpetuate divisive politics (sexism and misogyny especially). That approach gives this important book both up-to-the-moment relevance and long-view gravitas . . . An engaging and inviting study of humanity's long-standing fear of the other." —Kirkus Reviews
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