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Cornel West: A Critical Reader

George Yancy (Editor), Cornel West (Afterword by)
ISBN: 978-0-631-22292-7
398 pages
August 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
Cornel West: A Critical Reader (0631222928) cover image
This comprehensive text offers a systematic and thematic approach to West's philosophical work. It moves the reader through his distinctive form of prophetic pragmatism, his historicist and improvisational philosophy of religion, his socialist democratic and truncated Marxist political philosophy, and his reflections on a range of cultural issues.
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Notes on Contributors.

Cornel West: The Vanguard of Existential and Democratic Hope: George Yancy.

Part I: Pragmatism.

Part II: Philosophy of Religion.

Part III: Political Philosophy.

Part IV: Cultural Studies.

Afterword: Cornel West.

Select Bibliography of Cornel West's Works.

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George Yancy is McAnulty Fellow in the Philosophy Department at Duquesne University. He is editor of African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations (1998), named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice in 1999.
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  • Critically and respectfully examines West's influential ideas in a single and readily accessible volume.

  • Offers a wide range of perspectives on West's work, including existential and phenomenological philosophy, social and political philosophy, history, womanist and feminist theory, and theology and philosophy of religion.

  • Serves as the first critical anthology of West's work.

  • Includes an afterword by Cornel West himself.
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"There could be no more appropriate response to West's intellectual breadth than to assemble intellectuals and activists with diverse scholarly backgrounds and to ask them to engage critically with the full range of his work. The result is a book that can help us to assess West's achievement, while deepening our understanding of many of the questions raised in his extraordinary oeuvre. It also bears out the double-meaning in this book's title: for West is, indeed, one of the great critical readers of the American progressive tradition." Kwame Anthony Appiah, Harvard University <!--end-->

"Many of the contributions to this volume are written by members of a younger generation of scholars who have profited from West's pathbreaking writings. Their essays bring into sharp focus this question: is there anything that philosophers, theologians, or other intellectuals know, or anything they can do, that might help the black underclass in the US escape from what West calls 'a life of horrifying meaninglessness, hopelessness, and (most important) lovelessness." Richard Rorty, Stanford University

"Every American intellectual ought to spend some time thinking about West, and every large library should give readers a chance by putting this book on their shelves". Library Journal

"Cornel West: a Critical Reader is worthwhile not only because it honors West, who is indeed worthy of our recognition, but also because it continues, and therefore lends credibility and possibility to, pragmatic philosophical discourse aimed at eliminating oppression through the expansion of democracy and improving our facility in the art of living." Ethics, Vol. 113, 2003

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