Synopses & Reviews
Cornel West is one of the nation’s premier public intellectuals and one of the great prophetic voices of our era. Whether he is writing a scholarly book or an article for Newsweek, whether he is speaking of Emerson, Gramsci, or Marvin Gaye, his work radiates a passion that reflects the rich traditions he draws on and weaves togetherÑBaptist preaching, American transcendentalism, jazz, radical politics. This anthology reveals the dazzling range of West’s work, from his explorations of ”Prophetic Pragmatism” to his philosophizing on hip-hop.The Cornel West Reader traces the development of West’s extraordinary career as academic, public intellectual, and activist. In his essays, articles, books, and interviews, West emerges as America’s social conscience, urging attention to complicated issues of racial and economic justice, sexuality and gender, history and politics. This collection represents the best work of an always compelling, often controversial, and absolutely essential philosopher of the modern American experience.
An anthology of the best work of an always compelling, often controversial, and absolutely essential philosopher of the modern American Experience.
Table of Contents
Introduction : To be human, modern and American -- I. Autobiographical prelude. The making of an American radical democrat of African descent -- On my intellectual vocation -- Sing a song -- II. Modernity and its discontents. The ignoble paradox of modernity -- Race and modernity -- Black strivings in a twilight civilization -- The new cultural politics of difference -- III. American pragmatism. Why pragmatism? -- On prophetic pragmatism -- Pragmatism and the sense of the tragic -- The limits of neopragmatism -- Nietzsche's prefiguration of postmodern American philosophy -- IV. Progressive Marxist theory. The indispensability yet insufficiency of Marxist theory -- Fredric Jameson's American Marxism -- Race and social theory -- V. Radical democratic politics. The role of law in progressive politics -- The political intellectual -- A world of ideas -- The dilemma of the black intellectual -- American progressivism reoriented -- Parents and national survival -- On the 1980s -- Michael Harrington, democratic socialist --