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Birth of a Nation'hood: Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O. J. Simpson Case First Edition Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0679758938
ISBN-10: 0679758933
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The best part of this collection of essays remarking on the O. J. Simpson case is the reminder that what we saw on television and read in the newspaper wasn't the whole story. The authors--lawyers and academics for the most part--aren't primarily interested in questions of guilt or innocence. Instead, they look at the marketing of the Simpson trial and the falseness of the "race neutral" concept when applied to the trial and its aftermath. In the end, it's hard to disagree with Ann Ducille, who concludes that "If we are not actually the worse for it all . . . we have most certainly been shown at our worst by it."

From Library Journal

It may seem, after more than two years of reporting, speculation, argument, and courtroom drama, that everything that could be written about the Simpson case has been written. Yet this collection of 12 essays, edited by Nobel Prize-winning author Morrison and Princeton professor Lacour, proves there is much more to discuss. From George Lipsitz's careful analysis of marketing and the perception of race in the media to Ann Ducille's discussion of the public perception of Nicole Brown Simpson, these commentaries will pique the interest of even the most weary reader. These pieces provide stimulating challenges to the easy answers and widely held assumptions so readily embraced by many Americans, black and white, about the "trial of the century." Scholarly, provocative, and engrossing, this is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; First Edition edition (February 4, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679758933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679758938
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This collection of essays is an accessible, thought-provoking work. If you want to get behind the unarticulated true reasons why Americans were so disturbingly fascinated by the Simpson case, the book gives you much to think about. Yes, racism, sexism, distrust of the legal system, etc. is discussed, in many instances brilliantly. I will be using many of the ideas and concepts presented in this book in the work I do with young high school students and Stanford University students grappling with racism, gender issues and homophobia here in privileged, upscale Palo Alto.
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This is required reading for anybody interested in understanding the circus around O.J. Simpson's trial, in particular for liberl whites who pretended to have felt betrayed. The essays hardly deal with questions of guilt or innocence (although I got the feeling that most authors did believe in O.J.'s guilt), but with the question of why the response was so violent and bigoted, why white liberals accepted the trial by the media, some even joining in the media lynching. Essays are somewhat uneven, but in general very good and enlightening. Particularly striking were Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw and Ishmael Reed, the former elegant and poised, the latter in cold rage. Disappointing (for me, of course) were Ann duCille with her pre-digested Marxism, and Claudia Brodsky Lacour, who spoke more of Kant than of OJ, with a Baroque and convoluted style, quite appropriate for the Enlightment but hardly for the subject at hand. A question that came to my mind was why white Liberals tend to believe that African Americans should be forever grateful when a White Liberal treats them as equal. And then, they feel betrayed when their white hands are not licked in gratitude. After all, it is not a favor. Mind you, I happen to be what is normally known as white. In summary, excellent collection, to be highly recommended to objective people trying to understand the bitterness of African Americans in today's America
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Format: Paperback
The essays in this book hysterically negate the dead body of Nicole Brown Simpson, not to mention the friend who was returning her glasses. The essays reek of bad faith, and try to obscure the reality of the crime with the historical racism of America, in order to make people feel sorry for O.J. Simpson, a goal that was not realised with this reader. One author suggests that Nicole's family didn't really love her, because if they had they would have hired a professional killer to kill O.J. The fact that they didn't proves his innocence. I'm not kidding - a close reading of this book will find sustained faulty logic and a delusional hysteria which reflects very poorly on the book's famous editor, a writer for whom I used to have some respect.
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