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Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism

West, Cornel

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ISBN 10: 1594200297 / ISBN 13: 9781594200298
Published by The Penguin Press, New York, 2004
Condition: very good, very good
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About this Item

229, index. Cornel West points to the rise of three antidemocratic dogmas that are rendering the energy of American democracy impotent: a callous free-market fundamentalism, an aggressive militarism, and an insidious authoritarianism. Bookseller Inventory # 48949

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against...

Publisher: The Penguin Press, New York

Publication Date: 2004

Book Condition: very good, very good

Edition: First Edition. First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

The author of Race Matters explores the threats to democracy that exist both in America and in the violence-torn Middle East, discussing the imperialist corruption that plagues our own democracy, our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, our hypocrisy in the area of foreign relations and policy, the racism that still infects American society, and other crises. 150,000 first printing.

Review:

n Democracy Matters, Cornel West's follow-up to 1993's Race Matters, the author's diagnosis of the state of modern American democracy is grim. The institution suffers, he says, from what he calls free market fundamentalism, aggressive militarism and escalating authoritarianism, forces that put a stranglehold on efforts to achieve better social and political results on a global scale. These systemic problems exist simultaneous to a pervading sense of nihilism throughout the American corridors of power, West contends, making lawmakers feel that they are inherently virtuous because they are so powerful and accepting a system they know to be unjust, while the press sacrifices truth and insight in pursuit of a sentimental story. Along the way, West makes extensive use of literary and historical parallels, employing Alexis de Tocqueville, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Toni Morrison and others, with grea! t efficacy for the most part, to illustrate his points. West's prescription calls for a path toward a style of Christianity more in keeping with what he sees as true Christian ideals as well as a greater enfranchisement and understanding of young people and youth culture. West has a lot to say and the vast scope of West's arguments could be construed in at least a couple of ways: either he boldly takes on the enormity inherent to the topic of democracy, or he loses his way and attempts to touch on too wide a swath of topics while rarely going into sufficient detail on any of them. Besides being a provocative author, West is a highly respected professor and Democracy Matters reads something like a university lecture sounds: often insightful, occasionally disjointed, periodically obtuse, and sometimes brilliant. But in the ongoing effort to establish a better democracy, Professor West's perspective is highly instructive. --John Moe

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