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Publisher's Summary

The 25th-anniversary edition of the groundbreaking classic, with a new introduction
First published in 1993, on the one-year anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, Race Matters became a national best seller that has gone on to sell more than half a million copies. This classic treatise on race contains Dr. West's most incisive essays on the issues relevant to black Americans, including the crisis in leadership in the Black community, Black conservatism, Black-Jewish relations, myths about Black sexuality, and the legacy of Malcolm X. The insights Dr. West brings to these complex problems remain relevant, provocative, creative, and compassionate.
In a new introduction for the 25th-anniversary edition, Dr. West argues that we are in the midst of a spiritual blackout characterized by imperial decline, racial animosity, and unchecked brutality and terror as seen in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlottesville. Calling for a moral and spiritual awakening, Dr. West finds hope in the collective and visionary resistance exemplified by the Movement for Black Lives, Standing Rock, and the Black freedom tradition.
Now more than ever, Race Matters is an essential book for all Americans, helping us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.
©1993, 2017 Cornel West (P)2017 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"As moving as any of the sermons of the Rev. Martin Luther King, as profound as W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, as exhilarating in their offering of liberation as James Baldwin's early essays." (David Nicholson, Washington Post Book World)
"Cornel West is one of the most authentic, brilliant, prophetic, and healing voices in America today. We ignore his truth in Race Matters at our personal and national peril." (Marian Wright Edelman)
"A compelling blend of philosophy, sociology and political commentary.... It directly takes on some of the most volatile issues facing American society today.... One can only applaud the ferocious moral vision and astute intellect on display in these pages." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Gary on 01-20-18

Essential reading! Now just as a 25 years ago.

Dr. West's critique and analysis was then and is now essential reading to anyone genuinely trying to comprehend not just race relations but a comprehensive understanding of social dynamics in the United States.

This book explained the motivations at work that effectively Predicted the disastrous Clinton, Obama and now Trump eras from the perspective of race, gender, and economic justice.

It's impressive how well a text written a quarter century ago, not only holds up to the test of time, but holds so much desperately needed clarity for these times.

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By Todd on 12-22-17


Cornel West is creative, thought provoking and very articulate. A good read for anyone. Very relevant.

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