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Who Are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity
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Who Are We?: The Challenges to America's National Identity

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  496 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
In his seminal work The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, Samuel Huntington argued provocatively and presciently that with the end of the cold war, “civilizations” were replacing ideologies as the new fault lines in international politics.

Now in his controversial new work, Who Are We?, Huntington focuses on an identity crisis closer to home as he exam
Paperback, 448 pages
Published 2005 by Simon Schuster (first published 2004)
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Lukas op de Beke
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Huntington gives a persuasive account of American identity and the threats it faces. There is very little to argue with in this book. Every claim Huntington makes, comes with a ton of statistical and historical data. Here's some facts that will cause for surprise, irrespective of whether you're a multiculturalite or a nationalist:

1. America's bloodiest war in terms of deaths and destruction per capita was not the Civil War, it was King Philip's war. Fought in the 167o's against a coalition of in
Luís C.
Hutchinson does an autocratic picture and anti-Semite of the present day in USA, which in my opinion does not correspond to the entirely truth.

What is happening in fact is that there are some sectors of American society, who do not believe in humanitarian values and associations in liberal terms (Obama is a good example of reverse side) at the present time.
The author wants to show us, and I believe, wrongly, is that America is a country that was never aware of actions such as support for refuge
Carlos Marachlian
Dec 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
i am going to simplify Huntington ideas from this book and the clash of civilization so you dont waste your time and money: muslims are the main external threat to America an mexicans are the main internal threat. Their shish kebabs and taquitos are building a massive you know what in our white anglo saxon bellies. This is no different of what my stupid, smelly, fat, white neighbor thinks. When you send a redneck to Harvard this is the final product.
Blaine Welgraven
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
An overstated, yet still fascinating read. Huntington stands (stood, rather) at the very end of a long line of old-school Truman Democrats who recognized the need for "A bit of Sparta in the midst of Babylon." This distinctive worldview makes Huntington's writing come off as both startling ambiguous (at times) and overwhelmingly direct. At its most elemental, the novice SH reader will find it very difficult to analyze SH's works in modern polemical terms--he's not writing in easily divided left/ ...more
Anil Swarup
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yet another well researched offering from the author of "The Clash of Civilization". This is not so much about the clash as of American identity. However, the focus is again on identifying "fault-lines". The author is just unable to discern any harmony. That is perhaps how he thinks. For him, any religious, linguistic or cultural diversity is a threat to American identity. One shudders at the thought if he had written about India where diversity is celebrated. An Indian (most of them) takes prid ...more
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
How far the mighty fall. Someone once described Huntington me as a person who manages to come up with ideas so crazy that we can't quite disprove them. This book sees multicultral America as a suspicious development, likely to lead to our dissolution. He argues that we in America are not a nation of immigrants, but of settlers--we founded a new national covenant, and anyone who is not a descendant of those settlers is not necessarily automatically allowed to come in. He also claims that the flux ...more
Steph (loves water)
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Couldn't get into relatives came over on a boat around the turn of the last century, Eastern European, schismatic version of Catholicism,hard working peasant stock. I found Dr. Huntingdon's work to be respectfully offensive. Perhaps this started out as a good idea but it went downhill fast.
Apr 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Americans/Perhaps Otherwise
Is patriotism passe? Not so says academic extraordinaire Samuel Huntington. In fact, he thinks that it's essential to the very extistence of the nation state itself.

In particular, Huntington sets his sites on America for no other reason than that he's an American and he perceives a profound crisis looming in America's future. Namely, the enormous influx of Mexican and other Latin American immigrants who either refuse to or are unable to adapt to the U.S.'s mainstream culture pose an existential
Sep 26, 2007 rated it it was ok
While there were some strengths in the author's arguments, as well as a wealth of historical and foreign policy related information, Huntington comes off as alarmist and ethnocentric, as well as just plain archaic in his thinking. He espouses the need to maintain the fundamentals of the American Creed while while implicitly endorsing undemocratic and wholly un-American ideas. His views on current immigration, particularly Mexican, and its threats to the American national identity are often infla ...more
Elissa Freedberg
Jun 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Bill O'Reilly
This astonishing atrocity of a book is made even worse by the fact that trees were killed to make it. This man is a pox upon the human race.
Gordan Karlić
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book trying to figure out what will be future of the USA based on the past.
A long story the short USA is changing mosty from the influx of Mexicans.
I have several complaints to this book, mostly you sometimes are forced to believe Huntington, or arguments just because they are his.
But overall good book how and why the USA is changing.
Aug 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to predict internatioonal politics
Samuel P Huntington has a pedigree a mile long. He graduated from Yale University with distinction at the age of 18, served in the U.S. Army and graduated from the University of Chicago with a masters degree and earned his Ph.D. at Harvard at 23 and began teaching there in government. Huntington tells the narrative of Who We Are, a solid nonfiction book of the American civilization as it progresses along the future of America and what will likely become of us. He is the right man for the job (no ...more
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written and an organized thinker, and deals with deep questions of American identity, but Huntington once again reveals his jingoistic attitudes and fails to embrace the new reality of a non-Anglo-Protestant majority America.

Also - this type of political / social science writing/research is very outdated, with its heavy reliance on statistics, with no attempt at answering the "why" of the great cultural movements in recent American history.

Now off to read some Martha Nussbaum!
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politicaltheory
Regardless of your thoughts on Huntington - and his writing seems to provoke quite a bit of controversy - this book brings some important issues to the forefront of public discourse.

He raises arguably the most important issue we face as a nation - the issue of our cultural and political identity. Essentially - what values and norms are - and should be - central to the American polity?
Apr 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
Samuel Huntington seems like a bitter old man in this examination of American Identity. Most of his arguments look and feel like they are rooted in the 1950's. Huntington's nostalgia for WASP complete cultural dominance is apparent and his lines of thinking are convoluted at best.
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was cruising toward three stars until the final chapter in which Huntington made predictions based on his analysis in the rest of the book. It sure felt like most of what he predicted in 2004 started to become apparent in 2016, with white Americans starting to publicly identify with their European identity, resenting American elites for what's perceived as a too lax immigration policy and other globalist views, the increasing schism in a caused by not having a clear shared identity, etc. Un ...more
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand this country's immigration history and problem then this book is a must read. If you have read Huntington's Clash of Civilization then you know that this book is well researched and you will walk understanding nuanced differences that will make you think. For example, the difference between a settler and an immigrant makes a world of a difference when dealing with arguments about who founded this country. The key issue(s), what makes us "American" and the effects of rec ...more
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nasty piece of work. I remember enjoying his Clash of Civilisations, because of its new insights and bold predictions. This book, however, sounds like the bitter, racist ramblings of an old man who is resentful that his golden days of privilege are behind him. I would have cast it aside if it hadn't seemed like the people in the current US administration have all assimilated this book. So if anything, it provides a useful insight in the minds of neo-isolationist Americans who want to build walls ...more
Eduardo Paez
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best and most important book I have read on America and American Identity. Breaks down succinctly and clearly the state of the post-Cold War world and the choices that America can take and should take in response to multiculturalism and the threats of militant Islam and other rival world powers.
Kaiti Laughlin
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found this book rather dry and hard to get through. It has good information, but not my cup of tea.
Tiberiu Condulescu
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed it a lot. Wanted to start with the "Clash", but I found this one first on my bookshelf. Insightful and easy to read. Worthwhile for anyone interested in national identity topics.
Dirk Sayers
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Thought-provoking, impeccably researched. Some heavy sledding, in places.
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is fairly old, but after Trump was elected, I decided to read it thinking it would shed some light on why people voted for him. I think that in many ways, it does. If even a Harvard professor can justify the fear in multi-culturalism, "hispanization", and immigrants as a threat to America, I am sure anyone can. I disagree with a lot of the arguments Huntington puts forth in his book. I don't agree that immigrants coming to America is a zero-sum game where white Americans are losing out ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I don't agree with everything the author says or concludes, but I found the discussion very interesting and helpful in understanding some of the things happening in America today.
Mike Edwards
Nov 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
I confess that I wasn't able to actually get through this book. In Who Are We, Huntington takes the same thought processes that lead to the bad theories in Clash of Civilizations, and instead applies them to the supposed identity crises that America is "suffering" due to the increase of multiculturalism--specifically non-English speaking, non-European immigrants from Asia and especially Latin America who Hunting asserts (incorrectly, according to sociologists who actually study these things) are ...more
Edward Waverley
Jun 20, 2013 marked it as to-read
The late Harvard historian Samuel Huntington explained why such resistance is inevitable. In his last major work, Who Are We: The Challenges to America’s National Identity, he recorded the betrayal of American elites, who in the 1960s and 1970s “began to promote measures consciously designed to weaken America’s cultural and creedal identity and to strengthen racial, ethnic, cultural, and other subnational identities. These efforts by a nation’s leaders to deconstruct the nation they governed wer ...more
Very intresting book about the nature and meaning of America and Americans. I found his portrayal a little too WASPy, but it contained a lot of important and true elements. His section on Mexican immigration and the challenge it poses was particularly insightful and very worth reading. He at least has noticed by now that we are not Europeans and is trying to take that into account.
David Bird
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
In many ways, this volume could have shared the title of its predecessor in the Citoyens list: the plot against America. Huntington is not quite a cartoon conservative, and so the trip through his argument was worthwhile. Unfortunately for purposes of argument, no one in the group could convincingly defend his worldview.
Feb 11, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a scholarly book on America's identity ie the key components of America's culture. He traces it's development from the beginning of the country through the recent impact of immagration. It's a difficult reade since he's written it seemingly as a textbook but it does provide some thought-provoking analysis about where we go from here,
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Though now 12 yrs old still an important book and not too dated except for last chapters coverage of religion. Not quite a classic like Clash of Civilizations but an interesting read which puts into historical context very well how we got to where we are today. After reading this it should be no surprise that forces have been in play for a while have led to trump
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Samuel Phillips Huntington was an American political scientist who gained prominence through his "Clash of Civilizations"(1993, 1996) thesis of a new post-Cold War world order. Previously, his academic reputation had rested on his analysis of the relationship between the military and the civil government, his investigation of coups d'etat and for his more recent analysis of threats posed to the U. ...more
“We have to know who we are before we can know what our interests are.” 2 likes
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