Walter Benn Michaels
“A withering examination of how the celebration of cultural and ethnic diff .....[+]
“A withering examination of how the celebration of cultural and ethnic difference obscures our yawning economic divide . . . This is a refreshing, angry, and important book.” —The Atlantic Monthly
Acclaimed as “eloquent” (Chicago Tribune), “cogent” (The New Yorker), and “impossible to disagree with” (The Washington Post); excoriated as a “wildly implausible” product of “the ‘shock and awe’ school of political argument” (Slate), The Trouble with Diversity argues that our enthusiastic celebration of “difference” masks our neglect of the difference that really matters—the one between rich and poor. A magnificent skewer of pieties, Walter Benn Michaels takes on the many manifestations of our devotion—from affirmative action, to the worship of multiculturalism, to the obsession with heritage and identity—demonstrating that diversity offers a false vision of social justice, one that conveniently costs us nothing. In a daring break with both the left and the right, he calls for less attention to the illusory distinction of culture and more attention to the real discrepancies of class and wealth.