Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin

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9780399140464: Jews and Blacks: Let the Healing Begin

Examining the issues that have united Blacks and Jews in the past and now separate them, two long-time friends and leading intellectuals try to restore the special relationship between the two groups in a hard-hitting and worthwhile exchange.

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About the Author:

Rabbi Michael Lerner is the author of the national bestseller The Left Hand of God: Taking Our Country Back from the Religious Right. He is the editor of Tikkun, one of the most respected intellectual/cultural magazines in the Jewish world, and rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in Berkeley, CA.

Cornel West is a prominent and provocative democratic intellectual. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and obtained his MA and PhD in philosophy at Princeton. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Paris. He has written nineteen books and edited thirteen books. He is best known for his classic Race Matters. His latest books are Black Prophetic Fire, which offers a fresh perspective on six revolutionary African American leaders (Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Malcolm X, and Ida B. Wells) and The Radical King, a collection of King’s writings, curated and introduced by West to reclaim his prophetic and radical vision as both a civil rights leader and—more broadly—as a human right activist.

From Booklist:

This dialogue between two old friends--both consummate thinkers--explores the passion and pain of a dying relationship. More personal (and because of the conversational format, less cogent) than Murray Friedman's What Went Wrong: The Creation and Collapse of the Black-Jewish Alliance , the discussion between West, Harvard professor and the author of the best-selling Race Matters (1993), and Lerner, a magazine editor and a proudly proclaimed liberal, goes back in history and forward in speculation as the pair tries to figure out what went wrong with African American-Jewish relations and what to do about it. West and Lerner begin asking each other questions about their backgrounds (informative if somewhat contrived) and go on to press each other's hot buttons: black nationalism, the Holocaust, Farrakhan, Zionism. And after all these issues and more have been discussed--emotionally, urgently, and honestly--the initial conclusions are unsettling for all of us. West, for instance, feels that without systematic change America is headed for a race war. Yet, in keeping with their subtitle (Let the Healing Begin), the authors offer the epilogue "Grounds for Hope," in which they suggest that a shared spirituality could offer the way to resolve discord. Certainly, their final assessment, that change is possible, comes more from faith than from any empirical evidence: "We can build on the positive potentials and not just focus on the problems and difficulties." Let's hope these two charged voices aren't just crying out in the wilderness. Ilene Cooper

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Lerner, Michael; West, Cornell
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West, Cornel; Lerner, Michael
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Book Description Putnam Publishing Group, 1995. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New book, never been read. Can Jews and Blacks be friends and allies once again? It's neither easy nor impossible, say Michael Lerner and Cornel West, in a dialogue that looks at the most pressing problems of contemporary America through the prism of the relationship between their two communities. The alliance between Blacks and Jews was the cornerstone of liberal politics for much of the twentieth century. Yet today there are people in each community who see their former ally as their most dangerous foe. In the current political climate, it would be easy to suggest we gloss over the differences and unite in the face of a common enemy: the reactionary right. But calls for unity are not likely to succeed unless they are based on working through the explosive issues that separate communities. West and Lerner refuse to compromise their deeply held views for the sake of unity. In a dialogue that is always respectful, though sometimes marked by tension, they help each other understand their different ways of looking at the world. Avoiding easy outs and quick fixes, they explore such subjects as Louis Farrakhan, Zionism, the economic inequalities between Jewish and Black communities, crime, and affirmative action. Both powerful public intellectuals, Lerner and West take on some of the most demanding problems of our time, in a sophisticated but extremely accessible way. They conclude with a plan for healing the rifts that have developed. But in a deeper sense, it is their dialogue itself that is healing. Lerner and West's relationship is a model rarely seen in American politics: two powerful men ready to explore differences, not afraid to disagree, and drawn through the course of the dialogue to grow closer and more caring for each other. The dialogue of this book is a model for both the Black and the Jewish communities, and it suggests that healing and transformation are possible, and that hope can triumph over cynicism and despair. 1st printing. Current list price: $24.95. Bookseller Inventory # 002200

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West, Cornel; Lerner, Michael
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Book Description Putnam Publishing Group, 1995. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New book, never been read. Can Jews and Blacks be friends and allies once again? It's neither easy nor impossible, say Michael Lerner and Cornel West, in a dialogue that looks at the most pressing problems of contemporary America through the prism of the relationship between their two communities. The alliance between Blacks and Jews was the cornerstone of liberal politics for much of the twentieth century. Yet today there are people in each community who see their former ally as their most dangerous foe. In the current political climate, it would be easy to suggest we gloss over the differences and unite in the face of a common enemy: the reactionary right. But calls for unity are not likely to succeed unless they are based on working through the explosive issues that separate communities. West and Lerner refuse to compromise their deeply held views for the sake of unity. In a dialogue that is always respectful, though sometimes marked by tension, they help each other understand their different ways of looking at the world. Avoiding easy outs and quick fixes, they explore such subjects as Louis Farrakhan, Zionism, the economic inequalities between Jewish and Black communities, crime, and affirmative action. Both powerful public intellectuals, Lerner and West take on some of the most demanding problems of our time, in a sophisticated but extremely accessible way. They conclude with a plan for healing the rifts that have developed. But in a deeper sense, it is their dialogue itself that is healing. Lerner and West's relationship is a model rarely seen in American politics: two powerful men ready to explore differences, not afraid to disagree, and drawn through the course of the dialogue to grow closer and more caring for each other. The dialogue of this book is a model for both the Black and the Jewish communities, and it suggests that healing and transformation are possible, and that hope can triumph over cynicism and despair. 1st printing. Current list price: $24.95. Bookseller Inventory # 002201

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West, Cornel; Lerner, Michael
Published by Putnam Publishing Group (1995)
ISBN 10: 0399140468 ISBN 13: 9780399140464
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Book Description Putnam Publishing Group, 1995. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New book, never been read. Can Jews and Blacks be friends and allies once again? It's neither easy nor impossible, say Michael Lerner and Cornel West, in a dialogue that looks at the most pressing problems of contemporary America through the prism of the relationship between their two communities. The alliance between Blacks and Jews was the cornerstone of liberal politics for much of the twentieth century. Yet today there are people in each community who see their former ally as their most dangerous foe. In the current political climate, it would be easy to suggest we gloss over the differences and unite in the face of a common enemy: the reactionary right. But calls for unity are not likely to succeed unless they are based on working through the explosive issues that separate communities. West and Lerner refuse to compromise their deeply held views for the sake of unity. In a dialogue that is always respectful, though sometimes marked by tension, they help each other understand their different ways of looking at the world. Avoiding easy outs and quick fixes, they explore such subjects as Louis Farrakhan, Zionism, the economic inequalities between Jewish and Black communities, crime, and affirmative action. Both powerful public intellectuals, Lerner and West take on some of the most demanding problems of our time, in a sophisticated but extremely accessible way. They conclude with a plan for healing the rifts that have developed. But in a deeper sense, it is their dialogue itself that is healing. Lerner and West's relationship is a model rarely seen in American politics: two powerful men ready to explore differences, not afraid to disagree, and drawn through the course of the dialogue to grow closer and more caring for each other. The dialogue of this book is a model for both the Black and the Jewish communities, and it suggests that healing and transformation are possible, and that hope can triumph over cynicism and despair. 1st printing. Current list price: $24.95. Bookseller Inventory # 002202

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