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.
"This story of Black social movements in the U.S., as seen from the inside by a theoretically sophisticated and committed analyst, is mandatory reading for those who don't know this story, which is most of us."-Immanuel Wallerstein,
"This story of Black social movements in the U.S., as seen from the inside by a theoretically sophisticated and committed analyst, is mandatory reading for those who don't know this story, which is most of us." - Immanuel Wallerstein
"In broad strokes, Bush takes readers from the early challenges to the accommodationism of Booker T. Washington through the tumultuous years of the 1960s." -Choice,
"A crucially important and incisive work on the Black Power movement, its aftermath and its antecedents. By not treating race and class as an 'either/or' proposition . . . Bush has given us one of the most comprehensive analyses of the current crisis of Black leadership that I've read in a very long time, on par with Harold Cruse's classic Crisis of the Negro Intellectual and Cedric Robinson's Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition." -Robin D. G. Kelley,
"A crucially important and incisive work on the Black Power movement, its aftermath and its antecedents. By not treating race and class an an 'either/or' proposition, Rod Bush offers a new perspective on the class basis of antiracist and Black nationalist movements. Bush has given us one of the most comprehensive analyses of the current crisis of Black leadership that I've read in a very long time."-Robin D. G. Kelley,
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
Lyman Tower Sargent, Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, is author and editor of numerous books including Extremism in America and Political Thought in the United States (also available from NYU Press).