If you are looking for a provocative book to read, pick up a copy of Cornell West’s book, Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism (Penguin Books, 2004).
West is Professor of Religion at Princeton University. His teaching career includes previous positions at Union Theological Seminary (New York City), Yale University, Harvard University and the University of Paris.
You may not agree with West—as a matter of fact, you may argue as you read, but you will be challenged by his thinking.
He argues that our national experiment with democracy needs some work. So he talks about the matters of democracy or democracy matters. Clever, huh?
It will be worth your time to also read his earlier volume, Race Matters, a provocative assessment of what he calls “black nihilism.”
In this latest book, West contends that three things are needed today to improve and protect the quality of our democratic experience in the United States:
1) The recovery of Socratic questioning and critical, national self-reflection.
2) A rediscovery of and appreciation for the prophetic voice of the ancient Hebrew prophets.
3) An understanding of the "tragicomic" hope in American cultural life as exemplified by the blues and jazz.
Read the book. It will wrinkle your gray matter!
Very relevant stuff for urban matters.
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