U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Hartman reviews Christopher Shannon’s A WORLD MADE SAFE FOR DIFFERENCES

Christopher Shannon, A World Made Safe for Differences: Cold War Intellectuals and the Politics of Identity (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2001), 155 pages.

Reviewed by Andrew Hartman

Based on the title, A World Made Safe for Differences, one might assume Christopher Shannon’s book a celebration of U.S. intellectual life during the Cold War. U.S. historians aren’t typically in the habit of openly challenging the merits of the plural society, are they? As it happens, to my pleasant surprise, this is precisely Shannon’s intention. Shannon critiques the secular individualism of Cold War intellectuals – the politics of identity – from the Roman Catholic traditionalist perspective. This approach proves highly insightful, even to non-believers and seculars.

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