Collective identities such as race, nationality, religion, gender, and sexuality clamor for recognition and respect, sometimes at the expense of other things we value. To what extent do they constrain our freedom, and to what extent do they enable our individuality? Is diversity of value in itself? Has the rhetoric of human rights been overstretched? Kwame Anthony Appiah draws on thinkers through the ages and across the globe to explore such questions, developing an account of ethics that connects moral obligations with collective allegiances and that takes aim at clichés and received ideas about identity. This classic book takes seriously both the claims of individuality—the task of making a life—and the claims of identity, these large and often abstract social categories through which we define ourselves.