How Woke Won

The elitist movement that threatens democracy, tolerance and reason

5th May 2022
Joanna Williams

How Woke Won, a new book by Joanna Williams, is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the illiberal and divisive ideas that dominate society today.

From schools that teach children to question their gender identity, to universities that provide students with ‘content warnings’ for classic works of literature; from local councils that remove statues of historical figures, to multinational corporations that sell virtue alongside their products; woke thinking has seeped into every aspect of our lives.

Survey after survey suggests that most people do not identify as woke, yet woke thinking now dominates advertising, publishing, the media, civil service and our education system. Even our police and prisons are woke.

Far from being progressive, woke twists older ideas of racial and sexual equality beyond all recognition. It leaves us unable to defend women’s rights and pushes us to judge people according to the colour of their skin. Woke thinking benefits only a small minority at the very top of society.

How Woke Won looks at what lies behind the woke world view. It asks how one way of thinking about gender and race has won out over all others. It considers the influence of identity politics and the lure of victimhood in shaping how we relate to others. It argues that elite condescension towards the working class translates into an illiberal and censorious culture.

But How Woke Won also points to a way forward. The good news is that whenever woke thinking is subjected to free speech and democratic scrutiny, it falls short.

How Woke Won is published by spiked in conjunction with John Wilkes Publishing.

Over the next few weeks, Joanna will be talking about How Woke Won in the press and on various podcasts and news channels. To kick off, she will be taking part in a live Zoom edition of the Brendan O’Neill Show on Monday 16th May at 7pm. Spiked supporters get in for free. You can register or get tickets by clicking here.

Check back here for regular updates on events and press coverage.