Stanley Crouch, the rarely acknowledged but epic nature of the Afro-American experience offers one of the most revealing paths through the spiritual and intellectual thickets of our time, exposing us to ourselves as often through art as through politics. In Notes of a Hanging Judge, Crouch portrays this century as an "Age of Redefinition" for the United States and identifies the Civil Rights Movement as one of its richest metaphors. Crouch explores the movement from all sides--its epochal triumphs and the forces that have nearly destroyed it, its great political and artistic success stories and the crime culture it has been powerless to prevent or to control--and traces its complex and ambivalent interactions with the feminist and gay dissent that followed its example.
Balancing the passionate involvement of an insider with a reporter's open-minded rigor, and using a virtuosic prose style, Crouch offers uniquely insightful accounts of familiar public issues--black middle-class life, the Bernhard Goetz case, black homosexuals, the career of Louis Farrakhan--that throw fresh light on the position of Afro-Americans in the contemporary world. Even more revealing are Crouch's accounts of his travels, focusing on his perceptions as a black man, that put places as diverse as Atlanta and Africa, or Mississippi and Italy, in unique new perspectives. Perhaps most powerful of all are Crouch's profiles of black leaders ranging from Maynard, to Michael, to Jesse Jackson. Crouch's stern evaluations are sure to be controversial, especially his vision of the Civil Rights Movement as a noble cause "gone loco," mired in self-defeating ethnic nationalism and condescending self-regard, and conspicuously lacking in the spiritual majesty that ensured its great political victories. His discussions of artistic figures, including extended critiques of Toni Morrison and Spike Lee, will also incite much debate.
Taken together, these essays represent a major reinterpretation of black, and therefore American, culture in our time, and should be read by anyone who is serious about either.
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From Library Journal:
About the Author:
Stanley Crouch was for ten years a jazz critic and staff writer at the Village Voice. His work has also appeared in The New Republic and Esquire.
Like the pirate-turned-judge who was extremely hard on his former compatriots, Crouch, a former Village Voice writer, has collected a series of essays and reviews that portray the U.S. civil rights movement as a "noble movement that went loco." His case consists of anecdotal evidence presented seriatim rather than any systematic presentation within or drawn from a larger framework. Still, there is much that provokes thought in this collection, and the range of topics with which Crouch deals--from the implications of Jesse Jackson's political campaigns to black homosexuality to the treatment of blacks in Pasadena, Texas--is interesting. Readers who miss or choose to ignore the overarching theme of the volume can still find the individual parts worth reading.
- Joseph Stewart Jr., Univ. of Texas at Dallas, Richardson
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Oxford University Press, USA, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0195055918
Book Description Oxford University Press, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0195055918
Book Description Oxford University Press, 1990. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110195055918
Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0195055918 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0973272