Not Only for Myself

Identity, Politics, and the Law

A “moderate, judicious . . . look at identity politics” (Kirkus) by one of our leading legal thinkers

Not Only for Myself . . . furthers our national debate over identity politics by sagely pointing us toward some innovative practical solutions.” —The New York Times Book Review

In Not Only for Myself , Harvard Law professor and leading critical legal scholar Martha Minow uses well-known incidents, such as the furor over the casting of Miss Saigon and the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to explain the legal issues bearing on such incendiary questions as affirmative action, segregation, racial redistricting, and “identity politics.”


“Subtle and rich, yet accessibly writen, Not Only for Myself is the book we have been waiting for. Free of jargon or cant, it gives the most balanced and penetrating account of ‘identity politics’ available.”
—Lawrence Blum, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Education, University of Massachusetts, Boston
“An accessible and interesting read.”
“Martha Minow is among our wisest and most agile guides to the place of law in our lives. In Not Only for Myself she invokes Hillel’s ancient questions about who we are, and who we are for, to help us think afresh about recent cultural and political struggles over individual and group identity. Ever the impassioned advocate of legal literacy, Minow enables us to see how legal battles over the meaning of identity give shape to and are shaped by debates in other arenas, including the stage, the classroom, and the home. Minow’s trademark humor and engaging expository style are in full force, making it seem both natural and obligatory for us to continue the conversation she has so winningly begun.”
—Elizabeth V. Spelman, author of Inessential Woman: Problems of Exclusion in Feminist Thought
“A fine mind is at work here.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Both accessible and serious, [Not Only for Myself] can be added to the short list of legal scholarship on multiculturalism.”
The George Washington Law Review

Books by Martha Minow

Family Matters
Readings on Family Lives and the Law

Martha Minow

Goodreads Reviews