From Emerson to King: Democracy, Race, and the Politics of Protest

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Overview

This book traces a provocative line from Emerson's work on race, reform, and identity to work by three influential African- American thinkers—W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cornel West—each of whom offers subtle engagement with both the tradition of written protest and the critique of liberalism Emerson shaped. Emerson has been cast in recent debate as either an antinomian or an ideologue—as either subversive of institutional controls or indebted to capitalism. Here, Patterson contributes a more ...

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From Emerson to King: Democracy, Race, and the Politics of Protest

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Overview

This book traces a provocative line from Emerson's work on race, reform, and identity to work by three influential African- American thinkers—W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cornel West—each of whom offers subtle engagement with both the tradition of written protest and the critique of liberalism Emerson shaped. Emerson has been cast in recent debate as either an antinomian or an ideologue—as either subversive of institutional controls or indebted to capitalism. Here, Patterson contributes a more nuanced view, probing Emerson's record and its cultural and historical matrix to document a fundamental rhetoric of contradiction—a strategic aligning of opposed political concepts—that enabled him to both affirm and critique elements of the liberal democratic model. Drawing richly on topics in political philosophy, law, religion, and cultural history, Patterson examines the nature and implications of Emerson's contradictory rhetoric in parts I and II. In part III she considers Emerson's legacy from the perspective of African-American intellectual history, identifying fresh continuities and crucial discontinuities between the canonical strain of protest writing Emerson helped establish and African-American literary and philosophical traditions.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This elegant book contributes importantly to ongoing conversations about and in the tradition of Emerson's founding work at that peculiarly American crossing of literature, history, and engaged citizenship."—Kathryne V. Lindberg, Wayne State University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195109153
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Series: W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Series
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Boston University
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Reconciling Race and Rights 3
1 Defining the Public: Representative Men 11
2 Property and the Body in Nature 24
3 The Poetics of Contradiction: Religious and Political Emblems in "The American Scholar" 50
4 "Self-Reliance": The Ethical Demand for Reform 81
5 Locating the Limits of Consent in "Friendship" 99
6 The Claims of Double-Consciousness: Race, Nationalism, and the Problem of Political Obligation 126
7 W. E. B. Du Bois and the Critique of Liberal Nationalism 159
8 Martin Luther King, Jr.: Publicity, Disobedience, and the Revitalization of American Democratic Culture 177
Epilogue 198
Notes 201
Index 251
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Hello

    THIS BOOK IS LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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