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The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy
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The Twilight of Equality: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  219 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
By now, we've all heard about the shocking redistribution of wealth that's occurred during the last thirty years, and particularly during the last decade. But economic changes like this don't occur in a vacuum; they're always linked to politics. The Twilight of Equality? searches out these links through an analysis of the politics of the 1990s, the decade when neoliberalis ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published October 11th 2004 by Beacon Press (first published October 11th 2003)
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Oct 15, 2008 S rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book all the time because it very effectively addresses the interplay of rightwing cultural politics (at this point i would say postmodernism) and class politics by the Republicans over the 1990s. It also covers such things as why many NGOs in the U.S. are very moderate (the social movements that generating them are gone, so they're left as sort of the froth of the wave washed up on the beach.) Anyway, highly recommend it, especially if you're interested in the identity v. class ...more
Mar 27, 2016 Matthew rated it it was ok
This book will always be the book that I started reading in a tattoo shop, but other than that, it's not very memorable. After seeing the book cited in various articles, I found it terribly underwhelming. There are significantly better books and articles written about neoliberalism and about neoliberalism as it interacts with identity politics. Maybe the book was more groundbreaking in 2003 when it was written? Nonetheless, her critique of neoliberalism feels very unoriginal at this point. Furth ...more
May 03, 2012 Liz rated it it was ok
economics and culture cannot be separated and the Left needs to be on guard against attempts to divide them. pretty basic but, you know, on the flip side, succinct. wins points for being dry and clear, also for describing a rival's work as a "thoroughly humorless little homily".

loses points for claiming to be a general look at the economic dimension of the "culture wars" but in fact focusing mostly on attacks on queer activism at the expense of looking in any depth at increases in institutional
Jul 29, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok
This book's critique of Andrew Sullivan's politics in the 1990s is excellent and worth reading, and its first couple of chapters are a good basic primer on neoliberalism that would work well for teaching. Duggan's point that neoliberal policies have been built on disciplining racial / gender/sexual "others" is well articulated (though not new.) However, her concluding prediction that the effort to "discipline the troops" struggling against neoliberalism will fail was an overly-optimistic one in ...more
Oct 27, 2012 Bucket added it
duggan says:'this is a book for intellectuals and activists, gay and straight, interested in how the highly successful rhetorical maneuvers of neoliberalism have functioned and seeking a way to revitalize and unify progressive politics in the US today'translation:even if you've done your homework on liberalism, neoliberalism, and progressive politics of the last 60 years AND have reference points for obscure academics like judith butler, michael foucault, nancy fraser, and others, be prepared fo ...more
Quin Rich
Jul 07, 2014 Quin Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, brief (if dated) primer into neoliberalism and the challenge it poses to left politics. Duggan clearly lays out how the seemingly contradictory positions of social conservatism and economic deregulation came to be united in the contemporary US. She further elaborates how the distinction between class and identity politics is spurious, counterproductive, and untenable, as well as how neoliberalism has also incorporated limited claims to equality and recognition for select segments of marg ...more
Garrett Hoffman
Dec 09, 2015 Garrett Hoffman rated it liked it
A good primer to neoliberalism as it exists in the social in the US - IMO, supplement with Harvey and Ong. Readable and quick, though.
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Dec 25, 2012 b bb bbbb bbbbbbbb rated it did not like it
Liked: there were some thoughtful ideas, but very little substantial or worthwhile follow through. i like the general premise, which is about recognizing and supporting good aspects in different organizing strategies instead of allowing the differences to degenerate into infighting and paralysis.. Disliked: for a book expressing such a strong desire to break down barriers it was ironically inaccessible. there was a consistant failure to define academic and activist jargon. the author routinely f ...more
Jan 13, 2008 Linus rated it really liked it
Quick read that does show how neoliberalism, in it's many forms and guises, does attack both democracy and the Left. The blatant attack on simple things highlights the major issues within society today -- free speech ain't so free and neither is privacy -- and gives some suggestion on how we can resolve this.

The language isn't necessarily in layman's terms as it is written from an academia position so it can be somewhat a challenge to get through the meager 88 pages but it is informative if one
Jul 28, 2011 Phillip rated it it was amazing
An interesting, concise, and (largely) convincing volume about the politics of neoliberalism--a major force in contemporary ideology--and the failure of leftists (read democratic, progressive activists and thinkers) to combat neoliberalism. Very highly recommended for anyone interested in feminism/gender studies, marxism, leftist/activist politics, or any kind of ideological conflict.
Evan Woodward
Jan 06, 2010 Evan Woodward rated it really liked it
A quick, incisive read that situates the struggle against neoliberalism within cultural studies, which is an angle I hadnt seen before. A good companion if David Harvey has got you down.
Apr 25, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Great book for social inequality
Robert Brown
Nov 19, 2010 Robert Brown rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 12, 2008 Ash rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic
intelligent and lucid.
Jan 17, 2008 Steve rated it really liked it
David Seitz
Jan 14, 2009 David Seitz rated it it was amazing
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