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December 2016 Vol. 54 No. 4

University of Chicago Press

The following review appeared in the December 2016 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences
Political Science - Political Theory

2015-35279 CIP
Inazu, John D. Confident pluralism: surviving and thriving through deep difference. Chicago, 2016. 168p index afp ISBN 9780226365459, $29.00; ISBN 9780226365596 ebook, $29.00.

Inazu (Washington Univ., St. Louis) offers an important new consideration of the value of pluralism for American democratic society. He begins his analysis by pointing to numerous examples suggesting that the US has moved away from being a pluralistic society and that the country does not value genuine differences of opinion and open debate. Instead, people on different sides of contending issues try to silence one another, and differing opinions are not considered legitimate or worthy of consideration. This has led some to the dispiriting conclusion that pluralism is at an end in America, and Inazu reflects that such an end would be a very bad thing. Challenging this bleak view, he proposes what he calls confident pluralism as a solution. Confident pluralism, Inazu explains, is a political solution to the problem of deep and pervasive differences in the electorate. It recognizes difference and even invites it while acknowledging the need for consensus and unity in political life. The end of confident pluralism is not to resolve all issues but to allow individuals to function despite their differences.

--E. C. Sands, Berry College

Summing Up: Highly recommended. General readers through faculty.