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Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America [Paperback]

by Cornel West
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 23, 1994 0415910285 978-0415910286
In this powerful collection by one of today's leading African American intellectuals, Keeping Faith situates the current position of African Americans, tracing the geneology of the "Afro-American Rebellion" from Martin Luther King to the rise of black revolutionary leftists. In Cornel West's hands issues of race and freedom are inextricably tied to questions of philosophy and, above all, to a belief in the power of the human spirit.

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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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,126,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WIDE-RANGING SELECTION OF ESSAYS 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. 23)
"The tragedy of black intellectual activity is that the black institutional support for such activity is in shambles.
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By opops00
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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3.0 out of 5 stars West 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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