The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America Is Wracked by Culture Wars

Todd Gitlin

Published by Holt Paperbacks, 1996
ISBN 10: 0805040919 / ISBN 13: 9780805040913
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Synopsis: A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1995

From Booklist: The author, a well-known cultural critic and author of The Sixties (1987), focuses on the politics of textbook adoption in Oakland, California, in the early 1990s. He sees this process as a microcosm of the ways in which the public debate of issues generates more heat than light. The textbooks under consideration, written by a well-known multiculturalist and former leftist activist, were attacked as racist; the charges, made by people who were former activists themselves, were accompanied by a level of acrimony and rage out of all proportion to the subject at hand. Meanwhile, Gitlin notes, the larger issue, the fact that state funding of education has been repeatedly slashed, goes undebated. Widening his discussion, Gitlin goes on to talk about the decline of the Left, whose preoccupation with the needs of select "identities" and "cultures" has caused the movement to squander its energy on petty turf wars. He also argues that the Right, formerly associated with privileged interests, now claims to speak for the common good and has parlayed this image into considerable political clout. Gitlin calls for a return to consensus building in this lucid, eloquent, and persuasive book, which seeks to move us out of the current climate of bitterness and hypersensitivity and toward a more reasoned debate of our most pressing social problems. Joanne Wilkinson

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Title: The Twilight of Common Dreams: Why America ...
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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