This powerful collection of essays ranges widely across politics and philosophy in America, the role of the black intellectual, legal theory and the future of liberal thought, and the fate of African-Americans. In West's hands issues of race and freedom are inextricably tied to questions of philosophy and, above all, to a belief in the power of the human spirit. West situates the current position of African-Americans, tracing the genealogy of the "Afro-American Rebellion" from Martin Luther King to the rise of black revolutionary leftists. He explains both the opportunities and limitations of liberalism and nationalism, and offers strategies for a new generation of African-Americans. West insists that African-American oppression be understood within the larger crises of North Atlantic civilization. While maintaining the specificity of black identity and resistance, he provocatively suggests alliances with other intellectual and communal forms of American radicalism. Writing on "the new cultural politics of difference," the critical legal studies movement, American pragmatism, or race and social theory, West sustains the difficult balance between a subtly argued critique of the past and present, and a broadly conceived, daring vision of the future.
- 1993 Routledge
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