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Masters of the Dream Paperback – February 19, 1996


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (February 19, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068814618X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688146184
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,830,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Black conservative Keyes, who hosts a radio talk show in Baltimore, here presents a broad-brush essay on the history and state of black America. He offers some overblown rhetoric-comparing the "covert totalitarianism" of the "liberal welfare state" to that of the Soviet Union-as well as suspect analysis, praising Martin Luther King Jr.'s statesmanship but ignoring his increased concern about economic inequality. But he does make worthy points: contra the notorious Moynihan report, black families long embraced family values; the black church has always fostered a black identity with "moral and religious convictions"; Jesse Jackson jettisoned mainstream black values such as opposition to abortion as he gained prominence. Keyes blames Great Society liberalism for hitching black leaders to a federal tether while vitiating local power bases. This leads to his lightly sketched solution: respect local black institutions and values via "community empowerment," or local self-government that allows neighborhood taxation, law enforcement, welfare programs and education.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Keyes received media attention during his campaigns for the U.S. Senate on the Republican ticket and, since losing his contests, has become a radio commentator and talk-show host. In this essay on the causes of the plight of urban blacks, Keyes, an intense rhetorician, should irritate all the apologists for, and would-be expanders of, the welfare state. He begins with an exegesis on how enslaved Africans survived bondage, seeing in the historical development of the black family and Christian church sources for rejuvenation: they continue to be black America's strengths. Keyes then attacks the "betrayal" of "the special moral identity of black Americans" by the established civil rights groups, which habitually demand that the feds materially succor the community, a reflex that Keyes believes mires blacks in "perpetual supplication." In his prescription, empowerment comes from the self and the church and education, not subsidy programs. Though the liberal targets of Keyesian morals will probably dismiss this essay, the fact that it revolves around the nature of black identity and its antecedents in the long night of slavery--a question as central as anything to getting out of the crisis--merits support. Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By An Interested Reader on May 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Love him or hate him, Alan Keyes offers an important perspective on the so-called "breakdown" of the black family. Keyes does not pull any punches in his critique of the liberal orthdoxy that has dominated civil rights discourse for nearly half of a century. The problems plaguing the black community will not be solved if we allow a left-wing monologue to continue in the place of a constructive dialogue. People like Alan Keyes ought to have a place at the table because they are willing to face up to the harsh truths that others would too willingly sweep under the table. This book is an interesting contribution and should be read by open-minded individuals who share Keyes' concern for black progress.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William R. Oriani on March 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book will give you the history of the black race in America. How it overcame such great obstacles of slavery and the civil rights challenges. It will explain how black America has been hijacked by liberal elitists, a federal goverment that has weakened the black family, and the solutions for black America to gain back its once strong foundational heritage to take back their liberties and free themselves from the slavery of the welfare state and progress to a true freed people.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kevin G. Murray on July 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
Are we puppets or are we masters of our own fate? This indeed is the question. Our life is made up of the decisions that we make and Dr. Keyes speaks eloquently that too often we are lacking in moral courage while content to lie in passivity. Rise up or be vanquished--this is our eternal quest!
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3 of 67 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Scaff on July 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Keyes is a skilled and eloquent rhetorician, and much of his analysis of African-American communities is right on target. Unfortunately some of his conclusions seem illogical. While an intelligent argument can be made against the wellfare state, operating from the Republican party is nonsensical given it's historic opposition to civil rights.
If Keyes' supposition is correct, that education and moral strenght are what lift people out of poverty, then welfare needs to be replaced with a monumental effort on the part of the federal government to provide equal funding and support to every school in every community. Republicans have consistently opposed equality in education, to the detriment of African-Americans and other minority groups.
Keyes could further his cause much more effectively by working within the Democratic party which is much more inclusive and tolerant not only of racial diversity but of education and difference of ideas...
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