Keeping Faith: Philosophy and Race in America / Edition 1

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'The sheer range of West's interests and insights is staggering and exemplary: he appears equally comfortable talking about literature, ethics, art, jurisprudence, religion, and popular-cultural forms.' - Artforum

Keeping Faith is a rich, moving and deeply personal collection of essays from one of the leading African American intellectuals of our age. Drawing upon the traditions of Western philosophy and modernity, Cornel West critiques structures of power and oppression as they operate within American society and provides a way of thinking about human dignity and difference afresh. Impressive in its scope, West confidently and deftly explores the politics and philosophy of America, the role of the black intellectual, legal theory and the future of liberal thought, and the fate of
African Americans. A celebration of the extraordinary lives of ordinary Americans, Keeping Faith is a petition to hope and a call to faith in the redemptive power of the human spirit.

This powerful collection of essays ranges widely across politics and philosophy in America, the role of the black intellectual, legal theory and the future of liberal thought, and the fate of African Americans. The author of Race Matters, West lectures widely and appears frequently on TV.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers who enjoyed the illuminating essays in West's bestselling Race Matters will be baffled by this collection of 17 academic essays. West is a formidable intellect, but only tenacious, grounded readers will find useful his analyses of philosphers like Georg Lukacs and Fredric Jameson, or his criticism of the radical movement known as Critical Legal Studies. Those looking for elaboration on the themes developed in Race Matters will find a mixed bag. Essays on ``The New Cultural Politics of Difference'' and ``The Dilemma of the Black Intellectual'' set out the options facing critics like himself, though they lack concrete examples. A final piece, on the conflicting legacies of 1960s black activism, offers valuable historical analysis, but it was written in 1984 and should have been updated with references to present politicians and debates. Nov.
Library Journal
As Henry James moved to Europe to write about America, so Princeton philosopher West Race Matters , LJ 3/15/93 finds a frame for his assessment of the state of the ``New World African'' through recent trips to Ethiopia. Influenced by Richard Rorty and Michel Foucault, West develops a ``prophetic criticism'' to explore the existential conditions of race in America. Collecting 17 previously published essays and reviews, West examines the problems of culture, canon, and the black intellectual; the limits of political engagement; the role of the ``critical legal studies movement''; and the nature of race. While the essays are often repetitive and turgid in style, they are well informed and provocative, aware both of the power and the dangers of cultural criticism. An important book.-- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415964814
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/16/2008
  • Series: Routledge Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 485,559
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Cornel West

Cornel West (1953-) is currently Professor of Religion at Princeton University. As well as being a prominent public intellectual and a widely read writer on American Politics, Religion and Culture, he also produced a CD, Sketches of My Culture and appeared in the final two films in The Matrix trilogy.

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Table of Contents

Preface: The Difficulty of Keeping Faith. Cultural Criticism and Race 1. The New Cultural Politics of Difference 2. Black Critics and the Pitfalls of Canon Formation 3. A Note on Race and Architecture 4. Horace Pippin's Challenge to Art Criticism 5. The Dilemma of the Black Intellectual. Philosophy and Political Engagement 6. Theory, Pragmatisms and Politics 7. Pragmatism and the Sense of the Tragic 8. The Historicist Turn in Philosophy of Religion 9. The Limits of Neopragmatism 10. On Georg Lukacs 11. Fredric Jameson's American Marxism. Law and Culture 12. Reassessing the Critical Legal Studies Movement 13. Critical Legal Studies and a Liberal Critic 14. Charles Taylor and the Critical Legal Studies Movement 15. The Role of Law in Progressive Politics. Explaining Race 16. Race and Social Theory 17. The Paradox of the African American Rebellion Notes Index

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