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Democracy Matters, by Cornel West

By an everyday book reader
May 1, 2007

Praised by the New York Times for his "ferocious moral vision," Cornel West returns to the analysis of what he calls the arrested development of democracy with a masterful diagnosis.

Pointing to the rise of three antidemocratic dogmas that are rendering the energy of American democracy impotent - a callous free-market fundamentalism, an aggressive militarism, and an insidious authoritarianism - West argues that racism and imperial bullying have gone hand in hand in our country's inexorable drive toward world dominance, including our current militaristic excesses.

This impassioned and empowering call for the revitalization of America's democracy, by one of our most distinctive and compelling social critics, will reshape the raging national debate about America's role in today's troubled world.

Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism
by Cornel WestBook Picture

Softcover: 240 pages
ISBN: 9780143035831, 0143035835
August 2005

"Uncompromising and unconventional ...Cornel West is an eloquent prophet with attitude." - Newsweek

"West reveals himself as a thinker of dazzling erudition, whose critiques are inevitably balanced by an infectious optimism..." - The Village Voice

"West's latest aims to 'look unflinchingly at the waning of democratic energies and practices in our present age of American empire.' Such orotund language pervades the book, which expands philosophically on extant critiques but offers little practical or programmatic advice. American democracy, argues West, is threatened by free market fundamentalism, aggressive militarism and escalating authoritarianism. He criticizes Republicans as evangelical nihilists driven by delusions of American domination, Democrats (including John Kerry) as paternalistic nihilists accepting a corrupt system and most news organizations as sentimental nihilists sacrificing truth for distraction.

With intermittent journeys through Tocqueville, Melville, King, Emerson, Twain and Morrison, among others, he lingers in the Middle East (supporting security for Israel and freedom for Palestinians), and calls fiercely for an American Christianity that evokes the Christian ideals of love and justice, and that advocates deeper engagement with youth culture." - Publishers Weekly

Besides being a provocative author, West is a highly respected professor. Democracy Matters reads something like a university lecture sounds: often insightful, occasionally disjointed, periodically obtuse, and sometimes brilliant. But in the ongoing effort to establish a better democracy, Professor West's perspective is highly instructive.

Cornel West is Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion at Princeton. The author of the contemporary classic Race Matters, he is a recipient of the American Book Award.

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This page contains only one entry posted to Everyday Citizen on May 1, 2007 3:29 PM.

The blog post previous to it is titled "Righteous, by Lauren Sandler"

The post that follows this one is titled "The One-Hour Activist, by Christopher Kush"

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