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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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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.
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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Book Description Putnam Adult, 1995. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0399140468
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