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That's Offensive!: Criticism, Identity, Respect (Manifestos for the 21st Century) Hardcover – February 15, 2011
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“What can be taken when not given, and is not always taken when it is given? Offence. It is often claimed these days as a badge of moral authenticity, against which bad faith Collini offers this brisk and cool intervention. At its heart is an ideal of ‘criticism:’ the way public debate is (or at least ought to be) conducted, through reasoning and scrutiny of evidence. No one, Collini insists, should be able to claim immunity to criticism by crying offence. Offence is not a ‘harm,’ and to eschew criticism because the targets might take offence is to infantilize them.”
(Steven Poole Guardian)
“Collini, a distinguished historian of ideas, has written a powerfully argued manifesto on the subject of offense and criticism. The book is neither densely philosophical nor as militant as books that have covered some of the same ground. . . . But Collini’s deft dismantling of various forms of cultural relativism—conveyed in clear and concise prose—are sure to be debated and discussed by anyone who engages with his important essay.”
(Isaac Chotiner, New Republic The Book)
About the Author
Stefan Collini is professor of intellectual history and English literature at the universities of Sussex and Cambridge. A frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, and the Nation, Collini is also the author of Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain and Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics, among other books.
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