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Against Hate

Carolin Emcke, Tony Crawford (Translator)

ISBN: 978-1-509-53195-0 March 2019 Polity 220 Pages


Racism, extremism, anti-democratic sentiment – our increasingly polarized world is dominated by a type of thinking that doubts others’ positions but never its own.

In a powerful challenge to fundamentalism in all its forms, Carolin Emcke, one of Germany’s leading intellectuals, argues that we can only preserve individual freedom and protect people’s rights by cherishing and celebrating diversity. If we want to safeguard democracy, we must have the courage to challenge hatred and the will to fight for and defend plurality in our societies. Emcke rises to the challenge that identitarian dogmas and populist narratives pose, exposing the way in which they simplify and distort our perception of the world.

Against Hate is an impassioned call to fight intolerance and defend liberal ideals. It will be of great interest to anyone concerned about the darkening politics of our time and searching for ways forward.


1. Visible, Invisible




Hatred and Contempt, Part 1: Group-focused

Hostility (Clausnitz, Saxony)

Hatred and Contempt, Part 2: Institutional Racism (Staten Island, New York)

2. Homogeneous – Natural – Pure

Original, Natural


3. In Praise of the Impure



‘With exemplary lucidity, passion and brevity, Carolin Emcke anatomizes a toxic political emotion – and the many insidious, even benign, forms it increasingly assumes in public life. Against Hate is an urgent and necessary book, and all those who seek a way out of our current impasse should read it.’
Pankaj Mishra

‘At a time when, all over the globe, groups have mobilized around hatred of strangers, foreigners, migrants and refugees, Emcke analyses with subtlety and psychological precision the hearts and minds of those who hate. A must-read book for our times.’
Seyla Benhabib, Yale University

Against Hate is a heartfelt and powerful argument for the defence of a democratic, pluralist society that not only tolerates but also welcomes otherness. There’s no mistaking its timeliness.’

John Foster, Medium