Cornel West’s New Book

I just got a new book to read today; yes, I need to finish writing and marking exams, but I think I will enjoy this recent book from my favorite scholar.

According to the publisher:

New York Times­ best-selling author Cornel West is one of America’s most provocative and admired public intellectuals. Whether in the classroom, the streets, the prisons, or the church, Dr. West’s uncluttered brilliance has been a bright beacon shining through the darkness for decades. Yet, as he points out in this new memoir, “I’ve never taken the time to focus on the inner dynamics of the dark precincts of my soul.”

That is, until now.

Brother West is like its Author – brilliant, unapologetic, passionate, compassionate, and cool. This poignant memoir traces West’s transformation from a schoolyard Robin Hood into a progressive cultural icon. From his youthful investigation of the “death shudder” to why he embraced his calling of teaching over preaching, from his three failed marriages to his near-fatal bout with prostate cancer, West illuminates what it means to live as “an aspiring bluesman in a world of ideas and a jazzman in the life of the mind.” Woven together with the fibers of his lifelong commitment to the prophetic Christian tradition that began in Sacramento’s Shiloh Baptist Church, Brother West is a tale of a man courageous enough to be fully human, living and loving out loud.

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10 Comments

Filed under Books, Cornel West

10 responses to “Cornel West’s New Book

  1. There was a week where Brother West was on pretty much every NPR show I listen to. I love this man, and for much more than his philosophy and his perspective.

    There is something about him that makes me – Mrs. Chili, the woman sitting in MY seat – feel instantly comfortable, even just listening to him on the radio. I feel as though I could stroll right up to him, introduce myself, and be warmly and lovingly accepted as an equal (though I wouldn’t begin to consider myself as such; that man could think me right off the planet). That kind of open-heartedness gets me every time. Would that we could all aspire to that kind of human connection.

  2. I got to know Cornel West when I read the book on The Politics of Prophetic Pragmatism by Mark David Wood – after that I started looking for books by West himself.
    His fight for social justice and human rights is admirable.

    Have a super Thanksgiving!

  3. I first started reading West’s books back in high school; I like this commencement speech you posted. It reflects his intellectual spirit very well.

  4. Denton

    Cornel West is to be admired? Are you serious. Three failed marriages, and he profits from this. Why do so many black “leaders” have such a problem with monogamy? All this jive introduction about “courageous enough to be fully human, living and loving out loud”. What is courageous about being a failure at committing yourself to one person, 3 times? Talking about it is courageous? Havent we had enough talk. Walk the walk. Why not a study on fatherless children and the impact they have on society. Its fine if a man makes a mistake, but dont you feel a bit conned when the one who is profiting from preaching is a 3 time loser at what he preaches?

  5. West’s appearance on The Colbert Report in support of this book was really fun to watch:

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/252737/october-26-2009/cornel-west

  6. Jason John

    Denton:

    Have you “really” read any of his works? What does three failed marriages have to do with his academic contributions? Are you familiar with his school of thought or his rethinking of postmodernism? Pragmatism? How about his academic accomplishments? This book as a memoir, meaning that he reflects on his many flaws too, seeing that he is not Christ.

    I thought you were a troll for a while, now I am not sure. I have concluded that you must know Carson and really have a beef with him.

  7. Jason John

    Let me add that I like West and his post neo 60s style, but I do not always agree with his perspectives; I find it best to present questions to best be articulated in a forum instead of pessimism.

    Hebert — Great link!!! I like your blog. You and Carson are scary alike.

  8. I will second Jason John’s comment. West’s contribution to analytical philosophy has been profound. I will be his first critic in that his scholarship is at times guided more by opinion and less by footnotes. But, he is what he is, and that is a public intellectual that writes for a wide audience. His appeal is less about his marriage and more about his academic contributions.

    So, do I know you Denton? I have been wondering this myself. But, it is okay not to agree with me. There is value as long as there is substance.

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