Read Class Notes Posing As Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene
Last three decades Reed argues against the solipsistic approaches of cultural or identity politics and in favor of class based political interpretation and action Class Notes moves on to tackle race relations ethnic studies family values welfare reform the so called underclass and black public intellectuals in essays called ?. Adolph Reed is not only a compelling straightforward and remarkably engaging writer he is also fearless His collection of occasional pieces and topical essays together make for an excellent collection and introduction to his central themes the diversity of black American politics and perspectives the centrality of economic ineuality and the urgent need for state oriented political activity that is rigorous intelligent and implementable Another clear theme across these essays and foregrounded by the introduction is that Reed has little time for the vague pronouncements of theory after the linguistic turn and less time for the increasingly dominant performances of cultural criticism as he argues that both of these traditions unhelpfully guise their accommodations with the status uo in a misleading and ineffectual language of resistance He thus prises apart the claims of identity politics from their effects to argue that politics based in particularist identities form the burgeoning paralysis of socially atomized politically active neoliberalism It s bracing stuff and you don t need to agree with Reed to see the clarity of his arguments Reed s mode of critiue here clearly occupies a moment in many ways alien to our own but bears lessons for contemporary political analysts and strategists His central concerns are certainly timely poverty exploitation racialized power political agency and the active participation of a broad assortment of people in political movements
review Ë E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ñ Adolph L. Reed Jr.
??head spinning” and “brilliantly executed” by David Levering LewisAdolph Reed Jr has earned a national reputation for his controversial evaluations of American politics These essays illustrate why people like Katha Pollitt consider Reed “the smartest person of any race class or gender writing on race class and gender?. Great book and will have to revisit soon to really digest the arguments Read this at the suggestion of Michael Brooks RIP Left is Best
Adolph L. Reed Jr. Ñ 9 Summary
Hailed by Publishers Weekly for its “forceful” and “bracing opinions on race and politics” Class Notes is critic Adolph Reed Jr’s latest blast of clear thinking on matters of race class and other American dilemmas The book begins with a consideration of the theoretical and practical strategies of the US left over the. Not every single essay in this book is earth shatteringly good And Reed is sometimes overly dismissive of what I consider to be developments on the Left that aren t particularly harmful or insignificant But reading this book made me feel like a serious weight had been lifted off of my shoulders It gave me permission to admit to myself that developments or ideas within the Left that I ve long had internal personal doubts about but have never wanted to admit out loud or even to myself may in fact be right or if not right at least worth voicing and debating The Left as anyone who s been around it in the past few decades already knows is in really rough shape And when you re in such rough shape you re desperate for anything that you can claim as a victory or even just a positive development When victories around major society wide issues that reuire real mass movement building and thus are really difficult to win issues like ending racial segregation in housing universal health care affordable housing workers rights etc are in short supply it can be really depressing and debilitating So it makes sense that many of us would choose to set the bar a bit lower for ourselves to battles that we are capable of winning many of which of course as Reed notes several times in the book are also extremely important to fight over and win But Reed s basic case here is about not indulging in that temptation He s arguing here that we need to keep our eyes on the prize that we can t give up on those bigger picture goals and that there s no substitute for a mass movement reuired to win them no shortcuts to achieving mass social change And the sooner we can admit that to ourselves the sooner we can get to the business of actually creating that kind of movement and winning those victoriesIt s a message that s a bit depressing in its sobriety But if we re going to ever win victories around those issues we don t really have another choiceAlso I d be remiss if I didn t mention that Reed has some of the most scorching prose I ve ever read from an academic Seriously It s so white hot and so brutal that I m afraid to have the man read anything I ve ever written lest he take issue with any piece of it and write such a blistering merciless takedown that I ll be paralyzed from ever writing anything again