In A World Made Safe for Differences, Christopher Shannon examines how an anthropological definition of culture shaped the central political and social narratives of the Cold War era. In the middle decades of the twentieth century, American intellectuals understood culture as a "whole way of life" and a "pattern of values" in order to account for and accommodate differences between America and other countries, and within America itself. Shannon locates the ideological origins of current debates about multiculturalism in the pluralist thought of "consensus" liberalism. The emphasis on individualism in contemporary identity politics, Shannon suggests, must be understood as a legacy of the Cold War liberalism of the 1950s rather than the counter-culture radicalism of the 1960s.
Christopher Shannon is assistant professor of history at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia. He is the author of Conspicuous Criticism: Tradition, the Individual, and Culture in American Social Thought, from Veblen to Mills.
Introduction Chapter 1: Integrating the World Chapter 2: Culture and Counterculture Chapter 3: The Negro Dilemma Chapter 4: Beyond the Unmeltable Ethics Chapter 5: The Feminist Mystique Chapter 6: Compulsory Sexuality Conclusion