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Publisher's Summary

The 25th-anniversary edition of the groundbreaking classic, with a new introduction

First published in 1993, on the one-year anniversary of the Los Angeles riots, Race Matters became a national best seller that has gone on to sell more than half a million copies. This classic treatise on race contains Dr. West's most incisive essays on the issues relevant to black Americans, including the crisis in leadership in the Black community, Black conservatism, Black-Jewish relations, myths about Black sexuality, and the legacy of Malcolm X. The insights Dr. West brings to these complex problems remain relevant, provocative, creative, and compassionate.

In a new introduction for the 25th-anniversary edition, Dr. West argues that we are in the midst of a spiritual blackout characterized by imperial decline, racial animosity, and unchecked brutality and terror as seen in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Charlottesville. Calling for a moral and spiritual awakening, Dr. West finds hope in the collective and visionary resistance exemplified by the Movement for Black Lives, Standing Rock, and the Black freedom tradition.

Now more than ever, Race Matters is an essential book for all Americans, helping us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.

©1993, 2017 Cornel West (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"As moving as any of the sermons of the Rev. Martin Luther King, as profound as W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, as exhilarating in their offering of liberation as James Baldwin's early essays." (David Nicholson, Washington Post Book World)
"Cornel West is one of the most authentic, brilliant, prophetic, and healing voices in America today. We ignore his truth in Race Matters at our personal and national peril." (Marian Wright Edelman)
"A compelling blend of philosophy, sociology and political commentary.... It directly takes on some of the most volatile issues facing American society today.... One can only applaud the ferocious moral vision and astute intellect on display in these pages." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

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What listeners say about Race Matters, 25th Anniversary

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Classic that deserves better reading and recording

This book simply changed my life when I first read it about 18 years ago and I happily bought this audiobook. I guess my only gripe with this 25th anniversary edition's audiobook is the speaking tone the author, Cornel West, uses through the book. Anyone familiar with Dr. West's traditional fiery, passionnate speaking style will be quite shocked to hear him almost boringly browse through his own text almost as if he did not want to do it or if he was forced into reading it a certain way to please the average audiobook's audience. It's actually quite surprising and it takes away from the power of the text in ly opinion. I would go as far as to suggest a new recording of this otherwise groundbreaking work also with better sound quality.

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Essential reading! Now just as a 25 years ago.

Dr. West's critique and analysis was then and is now essential reading to anyone genuinely trying to comprehend not just race relations but a comprehensive understanding of social dynamics in the United States. This book explained the motivations at work that effectively Predicted the disastrous Clinton, Obama and now Trump eras from the perspective of race, gender, and economic justice. It's impressive how well a text written a quarter century ago, not only holds up to the test of time, but holds so much desperately needed clarity for these times.

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Masterfully Written, Important, and Poignant

This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Cornel is a master wordsmith, and the topic is so very important for every white person in America to read and understand. Every sentence is pithy. And, every chapter is well-researched, extremely informative, and of course, timely. I cannot recommend it enough, Please, put this one in your cart and purchase it, folks.

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Excellent

Race Matters is a good book to listen to, the narrator sounds perfect, enjoyed it.

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Public intellectualism at its finest

Cornel West summarizes important discussions in the black community with insight and sharp analysis. This book is very impressive both in its scope and it’s candid brevity. This is how public discussions on important issues should be done.

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White privilege is real

I bought this book on the street in NYC about 15 years ago. Then it sat on my book shelf as a challenge. I never picked it up. After the murder of George Floyd and the following outcry for justice / police accountability, etc. I couldn’t ignore this title any longer. Narrated by the esteemed author. He packs a huge amount of information into concise and engaging chapters that may literally blow your mind. I love his Sacto accent too! A must read / listen for anyone who wants to know more about why Black people and their allies are in the streets demanding justice and why justice is so hard to come by (spoiler alert: white supremacy). Furthermore, it was a joy and a privilege to listen to the eloquent words of this brilliant mind and soul.

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my eyes & mind have been opened

what a great book! I should have read this sooner. everyone should get this book and just sit back relax as your vocabulary expanse happens and you will see the true colors of life.

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Decent

Normally I am pleasantly overwhelmed with the information received or points made in a Dr. West reading, but this time, though I liked the book, I did not find it as easy to follow, nor did it captivate my attention the way some of his other books have. It's still a good read and as always I took valuable information and perspective from it.

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A hard but necessary pill to swallow

Sometimes it's hard to look at ourselves as a nation in the mirror. This book does a particularly good job of showing us just how much we measure up or don't measure up to these ideals that we've professed for so long. This book holds us accountable as a country for these promises that have often amounted to false promises in the end for people who don't benefit from the social political and economic system in America.

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Well aged wisdom

This 25th anniversary addition is well worth a read. This book aged really well and has been brilliantly updated. I found the epilogue particularly striking.

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  • Jim
  • 06-20-20

One smart dude

I heard about Cornell West from my brother who forward an article discussing the recent BLM protests. My brother said exactly that "one smart dude". My brother studied his MA and race and resistance, a subject and social science I am trying to understand and learn more about. This book is poetry, vast in it's understanding and insight. Cornell West is a leader, committed to inspiring a deeper understanding surrounding zenophobia. I shall be reading more of his books and doing my best to take action for moral and spiritual good of us all.

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  • Godfrey Carnegie
  • 03-30-18

A timeless classic

This is absolutely required reading for anyone with even an iota of interest in one of society's most vexing issues.

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  • James Datsun
  • 09-30-19

Interesting, insightful and charismatic!

Fantastic listening, great insight into systematic, cultural and social issues. Still very relevant today!