Debating PC

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This collection of 21 pieces covers a far broader controversy than that about ``political correctness on campus.'' (Berman, a MacArthur fellow and Tikkun magazine contributing editor, notes that the phrase originated in the 1920s for those communists and fellow travelers who towed the Leninist line.) Most of the pieces focus on the thornier issue of multiculturalism or efforts to ``deconsecrate the Eurocentrism'' (Edward Said) of the ``canon'' of great works studied in the humanities. Almost all of the essays calling for a multicultural curriculum allude to the need for more works by ``people of color'' and women, omitting such white ethnic groups as Italian and Polish Americans and such minority religions as Judaism and Islam. Yet while this volume includes too much superficial polemic and counter-polemic, Berman's excellent introduction is worthwhile, as are Irving Howe's defense of the classical canon and Katha Pollitt's provocative suggestion that the canon question evokes such strong emotions because we all assume that the books read in college are the only books most people will ever read. Enrique Fernandez makes a witty attack on the assumption that writers like Garcia Marquez are ``non-Western.'' (Feb.)
Library Journal
The 21 speeches and writings in this anthology review political correctness (PC)--an attitude towards multiculturalism in America as expressed in words, actions, and the humanities courses offered at colleges and universities. Definitions and examples of political correctness vary. Violators of PC may be called ``racist.'' The issue: does PC promote human rights, global understanding, respect for people of diverse groups; or does it promote the human rights of some at the expense of freedom of speech and necessary dialog on multicultural issues? This anthology presents PC from many viewpoints and is a ``must read'' for educators, historians, social scientists and commentators, philosophers, lawyers, and judges. Highly recommended.-- Lois F. Roets, Drake Univ., Des Moines
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440504665
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/4/1992
  • Pages: 352

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