Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America 1st Edition

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415910286
ISBN-10: 0415910285
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Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America + Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers who enjoyed the illuminating essays in West's bestselling Race Matters will be baffled by this collection of 17 academic essays. West is a formidable intellect, but only tenacious, grounded readers will find useful his analyses of philosphers like Georg Lukacs and Fredric Jameson, or his criticism of the radical movement known as Critical Legal Studies. Those looking for elaboration on the themes developed in Race Matters will find a mixed bag. Essays on "The New Cultural Politics of Difference" and "The Dilemma of the Black Intellectual" set out the options facing critics like himself, though they lack concrete examples. A final piece, on the conflicting legacies of 1960s black activism, offers valuable historical analysis, but it was written in 1984 and should have been updated with references to present politicians and debates.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

As Henry James moved to Europe to write about America, so Princeton philosopher West ( Race Matters , LJ 3/15/93) finds a frame for his assessment of the state of the "New World African" through recent trips to Ethiopia. Influenced by Richard Rorty and Michel Foucault, West develops a "prophetic criticism" to explore the existential conditions of race in America. Collecting 17 previously published essays and reviews, West examines the problems of culture, canon, and the black intellectual; the limits of political engagement; the role of the "critical legal studies movement"; and the nature of race. While the essays are often repetitive and turgid in style, they are well informed and provocative, aware both of the power and the dangers of cultural criticism. An important book.
- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1st edition (October 23, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415910285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415910286
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,854,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and obtained his MA and PhD in philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary (where he has recently returned to teach), Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Paris. He has written nineteen books and edited thirteen books. He is best known for his classic Race Matters, published by Beacon Press in 1993. His latest books are Black Prophetic Fire, which offers a fresh perspective on six revolutionary African American leaders (Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Malcolm X, and Ida B. Wells) and The Radical King, a collection of MLK's writings curated and introduced by Prof. West to reclaim Dr. King's prophetic and radical vision as both a civil rights leader and--more broadly--as a human right activist. Both books were published by Beacon Press.

Cornel West appears frequently on Real Time with Bill Maher, The Colbert Report, CNN and C-SPAN, and he makes numerous appearances speaking to audiences large and small on subjects ranging from racial justice and queer rights to climate justice. Prof. West has appeared in over twenty-five documentaries and films, including Examined Life, Call & Response, Sidewalk, and Stand. He has also made three spoken-word albums, including Never Forget, collaborating with Prince, Jill Scott, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, KRS-One, and the late Gerald Levert. His recent spoken-word interludes were featured on Terence Blanchard's Choices (which won the Grand Prix in France for the best jazz album of the year for 2009).

He has recently been deeply involved in the Black Lives Matter protests and was among those arrested in Ferguson in 2015. Cornel West has a passion to communicate in writings and orations, through music and film, and in solidarity with groups and faith communities committed to justice in order to keep alive the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.--a legacy of telling the truth and bearing witness to love and justice.

Photo credit Sigrid Estrada.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
Cornel West (born 1953) is a Professor at Princeton, a philosopher, magnificent speaker, best-selling author (e.g., Race Matters, Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism, The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism (Wisconsin Project on American Writers), etc.), and preeminent "public intellectual."

He writes in the Preface to this 1993 book, "How then does a black philosopher keep faith as he, or she, focuses on the pain and paranoia in America's chocolate cities and on Africa's sense of impending catastrophe? What are the sources for brave thought and courageous action in this frightening moment of global cynicism and fatalism? My feeble attempt to put forward a prophetic criticism for our times is a direct response to these grave questions... the decline and decay in American life APPEARS, at the moment, to be irreversible; yet it may not be. This slight possibility---the historic chance that a window of opportunity can be opened by our prophetic thought and action---is, in part, what keeping faith is all about."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"I call demystificatory criticism 'prophetic criticism'---the approach appropriate for the new cultural politics of difference---because while it begins with social structural analyses it also makes explicit its moral and political aims." (Pg.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By the gardener on December 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this a hard read. It had come highly recommended.... but different strokes. I have passed this one on. I did not finish reading it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would like to read more about the challenges of pragmatism versus modern evangelicalism and if we can move away from race based social theory.
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By Dr. Wilson Trivino on January 6, 2015
Format: Paperback
Full of insightful reading and a great collection for any Cornell West fan. A bit thick but will challenge your intellectual ability.
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By sburrel on April 2, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
awesome as promised and fast.
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