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Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity--And Why This Harms Everybody Hardcover – 6 September 2020

4.8 out of 5 stars 776 ratings

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Product details

  • ISBN-10 : 1634312023
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1634312028
  • Hardcover : 296 pages
  • Product Dimensions : 15.24 x 2.54 x 22.86 cm
  • Publisher : Pitchstone Publishing (6 September 2020)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 776 ratings

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Review

"Cynical Theories is a brilliant book, offering an incisive and much needed critique of the cult of social justice. The authors painstakingly trace its origins in postmodernism and, in doing so, expose the ways in which a once fashionable coterie of theorists infiltrated the mainstream with catastrophic consequences for liberalism, equality, and free speech."

--Andrew Doyle, creator of Titania McGrath



"If you want to know the philosophy behind cancel culture and why it is so creepy, get this book. Then, give it to your friends and family."

--Ayaan Hirsi Ali, human rights activist



"In this important and timely book, Pluckrose and Lindsay trace the intellectual origins of today's Social Justice crusaders. With clear prose and a fair-minded spirit, they argue forcefully that struggles for social justice are strongest when they are founded on respect for evidence, reason, and free and open debate. They deplore the harm that closed-minded Social Justice ideologues are doing to the cause of social justice (lower-case), and they offer practical strategies for doing better."

--Alan Sokal, Professor of Mathematics, University College London, and coauthor of Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science



"Many people are nonplussed by the surge of wokery, social justice warfare, intersectionality, and identity politics that has spilled out of academia and inundated other spheres of life. Where did it come from? What ideas are behind it? This book exposes the surprisingly shallow intellectual roots of the movements that appear to be engulfing our culture."

--Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment Now



"A fascinating and mandatory guide to understanding the culture war. Meticulously researched and impeccably written, Cynical Theories offers explanations as to how we got here and the best solutions going forward."

--Debra Soh, PhD, sex neuroscientist and author of The End of Gender


About the Author

Helen Pluckrose is a liberal political and cultural writer and speaker. She is the editor of Areo Magazine and the author of many popular essays on postmodernism, critical theory, liberalism, secularism, and feminism. A participant in the Grievance Studies Affair probe, which highlighted problems in social justice scholarship, she is today an exile from the humanities, where she researched late medieval and early modern religious writing by and for women. She lives in England.

James Lindsay is a mathematician with a background in physics. He is interested in the psychology of religion, authoritarianism, and extremism and is the author of Everybody is Wrong about God. His other books include Life in Light of Death and How to Have Impossible Conversations. His essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Philosophers' Magazine, Scientific American, and Time. He led the Grievance Studies Affair probe that made international headlines in 2018, including the front page of the New York Times. He lives in Tennessee.

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Reviewed in Australia on 22 October 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars 2020 university grad; this is the rosetta stone for our culture
Reviewed in the United States on 26 August 2020
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Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Jame's lindsay & Helen Pluckrose are the Woke Whisperer's
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 August 2020
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Iain
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 August 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything you need to know about applied postmodernism.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2020
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Steve
5.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue, absolutely superb
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2020
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