In this new book Rosemary Cowan provides a clear and highly accessible introduction to the work of Cornel West, a provocative thinker who has emerged as one of America's foremost public intellectuals.
West's multi-disciplinary work has helped to shape key debates concerning race relations, identity politics, the direction of the Left, the resurgence of pragmatism, and the role of contemporary intellectuals. He offers a compelling vision of the way in which values derived from spirituality can underline a movement for radical social change and his political ethic seeks not only to reinvigorate leftist politics, but also to reconcile American democratic practice with democratic theory. However, some vocal critics are skeptical of his stature as a serious scholar and have dismissed his work as intellectually opportunistic and incoherent.
Drawing on extended interviews with West, Cowan adopts a sympathetic but critical stance toward his almost innumerable political postures. She outlines the main themes of his thought, highlighting the principles behind his eclecticism. A major feature of the book is her assertion that liberation theology offers the most coherent approach to West's work.show more