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The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?

Michael J. Sandel

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Allen Lane
10 September 2020
Philosophy; Social & political philosophy; Social discrimination; Political science & theory; Political structures: democracy
These are dangerous times for democracy. We live in an age of winners and losers, where the odds are stacked in favour of the already fortunate. Stalled social mobility and entrenched inequality give the lie to the promise that you can make it if you try . And the consequence is a brew of anger and frustration that has fuelled populist protest, with the triumph of Brexit and election of Donald Trump.

Michael J. Sandel argues that to overcome the polarized politics of our time, we must rethink the attitudes toward success and failure that have accompanied globalisation and rising inequality. Sandel highlights the hubris a meritocracy generates among the winners and the harsh judgement it imposes on those left behind. He offers an alternative way of thinking about success - more attentive to the role of luck in human affairs, more conducive to an ethic of humility, and more hospitable to a politics of the common good.
By:   Michael J. Sandel
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm,  Spine: 21mm
Weight:   353g
ISBN:   9780241407608
ISBN 10:   0241407605
Pages:   256
Publication Date:   10 September 2020
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  General/trade ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Michael J. Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. Described as 'the world's most relevant living philosopher' (Newsweek), Sandel's work has been translated into 28 languages. His BBC Radio 4 series The Public Philosopher explores the big ethical issues of our time with audiences around the world. His previous books Justice and What Money Can't Buy were international bestsellers.

Reviews for The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?

Credentialism is the last acceptable prejudice... blends fact, analysis and opinion in eminently readable non-fiction -- Rana Foroohar * Financial Times * He is good at dismantling the cheap language of recent politics... compelling, too, in diagnosing the growing use of discriminatory language -- Julian Glover * Evening Standard * Engaging and timely... an insightful critique of where our societies went wrong... that will help us to heal our divided societies -- Matthew Goodwin * Sunday Times * The Tyranny of Merit is original, lively and no mere critique: unlike many others who have written on the sorting of society into winners and losers, Sandel produces a persuasive argument about the kind of community we should seek ... The Tyranny of Merit is an important work, and makes a profound point that our leaders would do well to understand. -- Nick Timothy * Daily Telegraph *


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