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What Next: A Memoir Toward World Peace

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Mosley, like many New Yorkers, has tried to make sense of the events of 9/11--and his own reaction to them. He remembered his father's stories about World War II and how he didn't think of himself as an American until German soldiers shot at him. How did he feel--and how did African Americans feel--about the unfolding debate of what brought America to this tragic juncture. Was the displacement his father felt, a half century ago, still a part of this new generations' ...
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Overview


Mosley, like many New Yorkers, has tried to make sense of the events of 9/11--and his own reaction to them. He remembered his father's stories about World War II and how he didn't think of himself as an American until German soldiers shot at him. How did he feel--and how did African Americans feel--about the unfolding debate of what brought America to this tragic juncture. Was the displacement his father felt, a half century ago, still a part of this new generations' experience?

In What Next, Mosley addresses these questions and others, inviting the reader into a dialogue that is brilliantly argued, and poetically concise. What Next offers food for thought and is a call to action for African Americans and freedom loving people everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This impassioned essay urges black Americans to take the lead in shaping America's response to the September 11 attacks. Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mystery series, puts forth a radical critique of U.S. foreign policy, recalling U.S. interventions in Indochina, Central America and the Middle East to assert that America often acts as a "pillager-nation" concerned more with corporate profits and cheap oil than with democracy and human rights; Arab antipathy towards the U.S. is thus more a response to U.S. economic imperialism than to religious or cultural antagonisms. Drawing on memories of his father's struggle against racism, he argues that blacks' experience of racial injustice in the United States obligates them to sympathize with oppressed peoples elsewhere and to understand (although Mosley does not condone) the murderous rage directed at America by many in the Muslim world. He exhorts blacks to take the lead in resisting the current militaristic response to terrorism and to demand that America harmonize its foreign policy with its humanitarian ideals and with the interests of the downtrodden "from Africa to Afghanistan." Interweaving the personal and the polemical, Mosley aims to shock readers out of their moral complacency; "It is up to me," he writes, "to make sure that my dark-skinned brothers and sisters around the world...are not enslaved, vilified, and raped by my desire to eat cornflakes or take a drive." Although his exclusive focus on economic motives somewhat oversimplifies U.S. foreign policy, he raises a compelling and eloquent challenge to America's role in the world. (Feb.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574780208
  • Publisher: Black Classic Press
  • Publication date: 1/10/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 142
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Walter Mosley
A genre-bending author who can move from science-fiction to mysteries, Walter Mosley is perhaps best-known -- and loved -- for his 1940s and ‘50s noir crime novels starring the cool, complex detective Easy Rawlins.

Biography

When President Bill Clinton announced that Walter Mosley was one of his favorite writers, Black Betty (1994), Mosley's third detective novel featuring African American P.I. Easy Rawlins, soared up the bestseller lists. It's little wonder Clinton is a fan: Mosley's writing, an edgy, atmospheric blend of literary and pulp fiction, is like nobody else's. Some of his books are detective fiction, some are sci-fi, and all defy easy categorization.

Mosley was born in Los Angeles, traveled east to college, and found his way into writing fiction by way of working as a computer programmer, caterer, and potter. His first Easy Rawlins book, Gone Fishin' didn't find a publisher, but the next, Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) most certainly did -- and the world was introduced to a startlingly different P.I.

Part of the success of the Easy Rawlins series is Mosley's gift for character development. Easy, who stumbles into detective work after being laid off by the aircraft industry, ages in real time in the novels, marries, and experiences believable financial troubles and successes. In addition, Mosley's ability to evoke atmosphere -- the dangers and complexities of life in the toughest neighborhoods of Los Angeles -- truly shines. His treatment of historic detail (the Rawlins books take place in Los Angeles from the 1940s to the mid-1960s) is impeccable, his dialogue fine-tuned and dead-on.

In 2002, Mosley introduced a new series featuring Fearless Jones, an Army vet with a rigid moral compass, and his friend, a used-bookstore owner named Paris Minton. The series is set in the black neighborhoods of 1950s L.A. and captures the racial climate of the times. Mosley himself summed up the first book, 2002's Fearless Jones, as "comic noir with a fringe of social realism."

Despite the success of his bestselling crime series, Mosley is a writer who resolutely resists pigeonholing. He regularly pens literary fiction, short stories, essays, and sci-fi novels, and he has made bold forays into erotica, YA fiction, and political polemic. "I didn't start off being a mystery writer," he said in an interview with NPR. "There's many things that I am." Fans of this talented, genre-bending author could not agree more!

Good To Know

Mosley won a Grammy award in 2002 in the category of "Best Album Notes" for Richard Pryor.... And It's Deep, Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968-1992).

Mosley is an avid potter in his spare time.

In our 2004 interview, Mosley reveals:

"I was a computer programmer for 15 years before publishing my first book. I am an avid collector of comic books. And I believe that war is rarely the answer, especially not for its innocent victims."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 12, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Los Angeles, California
    1. Education:
      B.A., Johnson State College
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2003

    Toward Reason or Toward Treason

    Very candid discussion concerning America's Foreign Policies and America's National, and questionable, Policies relating to Non-White Peoples. Major exploration into the intricate, and overt, double standard America practices in order to maintain its superfluous status. So-called 1st World Nations of Europe, to include Japan and Israel, are respected by the U.S. While so-called 3rd World Nations of Africa and other Nations of Color are subjugated and exploited by the U.S. The Peoples of justmentioned nations are consequently treated accordingly- within and outside of the U.S. Majority American population understands such an arrangement, but remains speechless. As the author tackles such unjustifiable practices by American citizens, critics will charge reverse racism and suggest the author move to another nation as if he is toward treason. However, the book is very Reasonable and it enriches the dialogue toward Peace.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2003

    Great intentions

    Very readable, but ultimately not very fulfilling. Mr. Mosley has lofty goals in this monograph which sets out to promote movement towards world peace. His stories are interesting and unique, but his prescription doesn't add much to the dialogue on issues of racism and violence. Mr. Mosley says he is going to provide direction for real action, but his suggestions are vague and, sometimes, cliche. This is a very quick read, so I feel comfortable recommending it. If you are looking for insightful commentary and are willing to spend time reading it, I would suggest you look elsewhere.

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