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Mistaken Identity : Race and Class in the Age of Trump - Asad Haider

Mistaken Identity

Race and Class in the Age of Trump

Paperback Published: 1st July 2018
ISBN: 9781786637376
Number Of Pages: 144

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A powerful challenge to the way we understand the politics of race and the history of anti-racist struggle

The phenomenon of "identity politics" represents one of the primary impasses of the left, and has occasioned the re-ignition of frustrating debates between the partisans of race and class ad infinitum. In Mistaken Identity, Asad Haider reaches for a different approach – one rooted in the rich legacies of the black freedom struggle.

Drawing from the words and deeds of black revolutionary theorists, he argues that identity politics is not synonymous with anti-racism, but instead amounts to the neutralisation of its movements. It marks a retreat from the crucial passage from identity to solidarity, and from individual recognition to collective struggle against an oppressive social structure.

Mistaken Identity is a political and theoretical tour de force, an urgent call for alternative visions, languages, and practices against the white identity politics of right-wing populism. The idea of universal emancipation now seems old-fashioned and outmoded. But if we are attentive to the lines of struggle that lie outside the boundaries of the state, we will see that it has been placed on the agenda once again.

About the Author

Asad Haider is a founding Editor of Viewpoint Magazine, an investigative journal of contemporary politics. He is a PhD candidate in the History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz and a member of UAW-2865, the Student-Workers Union at the University of California.

Industry Reviews

“A bold, fresh, and radical critique of so-called identity politics, this book deserves a wide reading. Asad Haider proclaims another universality is possible, and it’s probably not what you think.” – Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

“Asad Haider renews the critique of identity politics for the contemporary Left. This is a fresh and timely book, thoughtful and provocative.” - Judith Butler, author of Gender Trouble and Frames of War

“A devastating and constructive critique of what is commonly understood as ‘identity politics,’ while still maintaining the centrality race, racism and racist oppression in capitalism.” – Bill Fletcher, Jr., coauthor of Solidarity Divided and former president of TransAfrica Forum

“Pithy, smart and readable, Mistaken Identity is a wonderful book for our time. Notwithstanding his critique of identity, there is a compelling authenticity to Haider’s voice, making him someone one wants to think with about shaping a left vision today.” – Wendy Brown, author of States of Injury and Undoing the Demos

“Reviving what has become a deeply unfashionable anti-racist standpoint, Asad Haider indicts the complicity of ‘identity politics’ from the left. This spiky little book shows how opposition might be salvaged from an ocean of pessimism and despair.” – Paul Gilroy, author of The Black Atlantic and There Ain’t No Black in the Union Jack

“[Haider] constructs a comprehensive and critical dissection of identity politics in his hard-hitting debut... This book is an important contribution to discourses on American politics, race, and social movements.” - Publishers Weekly

“Riveting. Haider moves deftly over difficult terrain. His prose is precise and propulsive. His Marxism is not a mausoleum but a living, breathing thing. And he writes as both a militant and a theorist, one who believes that theory is integral to political struggle and that theoretical rigour has political stakes. The American left has shown signs of life recently, but it has no shortage of enemies. Defeating them will require, among other things, ideas. Haider’s book contributes several. We will need more.” - Ben Tarnoff, Guardian

“Essential reading for anyone interested in bringing socialist ideas into movements against racism today.” - Socialist Worker

“Asad Haider has written a brief and informed survey and critique of the inherent flaws in identity politics. It convinces the reader through a measured calm, not polemics, and that's a refreshing change in these troubled times.” - Christian John Stephens, PopMatters

“For a slim book, Haider’s argument is expansive and philosophically challenging. Although he never overwhelms the reader with unexplained jargon, the range of work he engages with is impressive, including that of Althusser, Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, and more. Moving through this material with skill and acumen, Haider sets out to undercut the material and philosophical foundations of identity politics (and the idea of identity itself).” - Michael Mirer, Public Books

Acknowledgments - vii
Introduction - 1

1: Identity Politics - 7
2: Contradictions Among the People - 27
3: Racial Ideology - 42
4: Passing - 65
5: Law and Order - 83
6: Universality - 103

Notes - 115
Index - 123

ISBN: 9781786637376
ISBN-10: 1786637375
Audience: BAG
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 144
Published: 1st July 2018
Publisher: Verso Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 12.9  x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.18

Earn 34 Qantas Points
on this Book