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Customer Review

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Original, surprising memoir unpeeling truths: ours and his., January 12, 1999
By A Customer
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This review is from: White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness (Hardcover)
Maurice Berger's WHITE LIES challenges--the writing is potent, distilled, and very clear; the content probes, through the vehicle of his own life and stories and writings of others, many assumptions, especially those of white people who may consider themselves beyond racism of any kind. The format is different and fresh, full of subtle (and not-so-subtle) surprises about our own attitudes, the world we live in, and the permeation of racism in our culture. The power of whiteness seeps into everything--an awakening to what's always been obvious to non-whites. But it is also a memoir, and equally fascinating in that repect. Here is a man who understands "otherness" and the powerlessness that goes with it. His youth is spent as one who is fiercely intelligent and sensitive, but trapped in his own, often confounding cage of otherness. In particular, the portraits of his parents are compelling, conveying Berger's love and frustration. In Berger's spare language, they come to life, almost jump off the page, as complicated and isolated, from society and each other. What he shows us throughout is profound, disturbing, but somehow hopeful. He portrays, rather than eviscerates, the realities of our society. I saw it more as a wake-up call than a condemnation. His vision is clear, and he opens our eyes as well. It's a book to think about long after the last page is read.
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