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Race Class Gender and the Hatred of Identity Politics. An Antidote to Political Infighting and the Culture Wars. By Michael Richmond and Alex Charnley, Pluto 2022

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Identity politics has been a smear for decades. The right use it to lament the loss of free speech, while many on the left bemoan it as the end of class politics. It has been used to dismiss movements such as Black Lives Matter and brought seemingly progressive people into the path of fascism. It has emboldened the march of the transphobes.

In Fractured, Michael Richmond & Alex Charnley move away from the ahistorical temper of the identity politics debate. Instead of crudely categorising race, gender and sexuality as fixed and immutable identities, or forcing them under the banner of ‘diversity’, they argue that these categories are inseparable from the history of class struggle under British and US capitalism.

Through an appraisal of pivotal historical moments in Britain and the US, including Black feminist and anticolonial traditions on both sides of the Atlantic, the authors question the assumptions of the culture war, offering a refreshing and reasoned way to understand how historical class struggles were formed and continue to determine the possibilities for new forms of solidarity in an increasingly dangerous world.

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