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We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Centuryby Roderick D. Bush
Synopses & Reviews
An innovative departure from traditional approaches to political thought, this groundbreaking anthology includes minority ideologies where they occurred historically. By interweaving minority voices with majority documents rather than grouping them together, Political Thought in the United States presents us with a uniquely organic portrait of American political life.
Beginning with the time of the explorers and early settlers, Lyman Tower Sargent presents the political beliefs and ideologies of religious minorities, women, North American Indians, and African Americans as fundamental components of American thought. Political Thought in the United States centers on two themes: the relationship between majority rule and minority rights, and the focus of power in the American system. Together with classic documents long heralded as cornerstones of American democracy, the book features writings of those opposed to the Constitution, slave petitions, Indian treaties, Emerson's Politics, works of conservatives like John Taylor and Herbert Hoover, documents from the feminist movements, labor manifestos, critiques of industrialization, and W. E. B. Du Bois's still-debated The Talented Tenth, and much more.
An "Indispensable" Book of The Black World Today website
Much has been written about the Black Power movement in the United States. Most of this work, however, tends to focus on the personalities of the movement. In We Are Not What We Seem, Roderick D. Bush takes a fresh look at Black Power and other African American social movements with a specific emphasis on the role of the urban poor in the struggle for Black rights.
Bush traces the trajectory of African American social movements from the time Booker T. Washington to the present, providing an integrated discussion of class. He addresses questions crucial to any understanding of Black politics: Is the Black Power movement simply another version of the traditional American ethnic politics, or does it have wider social import? What role has the federal government played in implicitly grooming social conservatives like Louis Farrakhan to assume leadership positions as opposed to leftist, grassroots, class-oriented leaders? Bush avoids the traditional liberal and social democratic approaches in favor of a more universalistic perspective that offers new insights into the history of Black movements in the U.S.
About the Author
Long an activist in the Black Power and radical movement of the 1968-88 period, Rod Bush is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at St. John's University and editor of The New Black Vote: Politics and Power in Four American Cities.
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