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Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It Hardcover – August 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
When Bill Cosby addressed a 50th-anniversary celebration of Brown v. Board of Education, he created a major controversy with seemingly inoffensive counsel ("begin with getting a high school education, not having children until one is twenty-one and married, working hard at any job, and being good parents"). Building from Cosby's speech, NPR/Fox journalist Williams offers his ballast to Cosby's position. Williams starts with the question, "Why are so many black Americans, people born inside the gates of American opportunity, still living as if they were locked out from all America has to offer?" His answers include the debacle of big-city politics under self-serving black politicians; reparations as "a divisive dead-end idea"; the parlous state of city schools "under the alliance between the civil rights leaders and the teachers' unions"; and the transformation of rap from "its willingness to confront establishment and stereotypes" to "America's late-night masturbatory fantasy." A sense of the erosion of "the high moral standing of civil rights" underlies Cosby's anguish and Williams's anger. Politically interested readers of a mildly conservative bent will find this book sheer dynamite. (Aug.)
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Advance Praise for Enough
“Written in the tradition of DuBois and King, Enough is an impressively powerful and courageous book. Williams delivers a blunt and bracing challenge to black America.” —David J. Garrow, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Bearing the Cross and Senior Fellow at Cambridge University
“A courageous and much-needed primer on race relations in America today.” —Thomas Sowell, author of Black Rednecks and White Liberals and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution
“Enough is a breath of fresh air and a long overdue, critical insight into today’s stereotypical nonsense that has unfortunately been passing as the new black culture.” —Donna Brazile, political commentator for CNN and former campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000
“Juan Williams has, through Bill Cosby, spoken for the quiet majority of African Americans who desperately look for some voice to articulate what they know is truth. . . . I highly recommend Enough to those who are really interested in knowing our nation’s history, and specifically the odyssey of African Americans in this country.” —Douglas Wilder, mayor of Richmond, Virginia, and former governor of Virginia
“Juan Williams isn’t afraid to give Cosby his props, showing us that a lot of what people call black conservatism is plain common sense.” —John McWhorter, author of Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America
Top customer reviews
I say horribly written, not due to content, but due to layout. He repeated makes the same points over and over and over. It seems that each chapter restates 4/5 points from the previous with more new stats, or sometimes just stats from a different year, and then makes one new one. After the first 50 pages, the next 100 seemed the exact same which was when I put the book down. I just couldn't finish it because it was so monotonous. It seemed like he could have made a short concise, fully developed point with breaking up the chapters by the different aspects of live that have / haven't been affected by the civil rights movement. Instead, then all encompass all of them and in doing so the book has the literary value of a high school freshman's English 101 paper.
This is an honest assessment of the problems. Juan would do well to provide more actual sources in the book even though he makes references to when a given talk was given etc. There is a lot of technical detail in the writing, but no excuses for the behavior of the Blacks. Recommended reading...
I liked that it wasn't obvious which way politically he leans. About the time you think Republican, he's critical of the Bush (W) Administration. About the time you think Democrat, he's critical of Clinton. That was a good thing!
I struggled between 4 and 5 rating. . I went with 4 because of 2 things - too much time spent defending Cosby's speech to the NAACP-that became repetitive. The other thing was at least twice he stated the Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves, no the 13th Amendment did that!
We wanted to rate this book higher than we did. The subject is an important one. While we found it interesting, the writing is very dense and the main reason for our lower rating was that it was extremely repetitive. Too much so, in our opinion. Eventually, we just skimmed paragraphs which contained information already shared in previous chapters.
This book uses Bill Cosby's 2004 address at Constitutional Hall as a jumping off place to explore the wasted opportunities in today's poor black society. It makes for intriguing sociological commentary and shared the author's conviction that a lack of education and a lack of black leadership has derailed the progress of African-Americans.
Enough could use an update to make it relevant to the disastrous economic situation facing America in 2011. It could also use an editor to pare down the repetitive portions and render the book more readable.
Enough is a good book that needs some tweaking.