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Airing Dirty Laundry [Hardcover]

Ishmael Reed


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Book Description

30 Oct 1993
This collection of Reed's nonfiction from the past 15 years confirms his status as an Establishment agitator and advocate of multiculturalism. Reed takes on the major news networks and NPR and makes clear his views on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and Mike Tyson. Reed was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press Inc; First Printing edition (30 Oct 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0201624621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0201624625
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,565,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars incisive & astute 7 Nov 2003
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What's great about Ishmael Reed as a polemicist is that he actually thoroughly researches his facts, so when he holds forth about media distortions of rates of (eg) crack use among white suburbanites, black working-class single mothers being falsely projected as the archetypal welfare-claimants etc, he's not just venting inchoate rage. The introductory section of this book is a masterpiece of close analysis, the individual essays ranging from the interesting to the excellent. His claims about the contemptible misrepresentation of black men in America in huge swathes of the media are, I think, true - and at the least, convincingly argued. His style is clear, direct and accessible. A very good read, & I think the best of his books of collected non-fiction.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read 8 Aug 2011
By truth seeker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
a must read for all Americans, Reed tells it like it is, and says what others are afraid to say. He opens the arena up to truth and forces our nation to look itself in the mirror.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a joy to read even if mostly wrong 21 Nov 2000
By Orrin C. Judd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If 1992 was the Year of the Woman & 1994 was the year of the Angry White Male, then this book was certainly an attempt by Ishmael Reed to make 1993 the year of the Angry Black Male. What's he angry about? mostly the commonly accepted portrait of black males in the media and among intellectual elites, & especially the black conservatives who help foster what he feels is an inaccurate image. They are "airing dirty laundry" or as he puts it: "The profitable literary scam nowadays is to pose as someone who airs unpleasant and frank facts about the black community, only to be condemned by the black community for doing so. This is the sure way to grants, awards, prizes, fellowships, and academic positions."
But these black conservatives are not alone as objects of Reed's scorn; they are joined by: George Will, Pat Buchanan, feminists, NPR, The New York Review of Books, The Color Purple, Oprah Winfrey, Desiree Washington, the FBI, Anita Hill, etc. All of them are viewed as having victimized black men, especially the "underclass", in general and specifically, Mike Tyson, Clarence Thomas & Marion Barry.
Every one of Mr. Reed's polemics is impassioned and amusing. And while he seems to have swallowed whole every crackpot conspiracy theory to come down the pike, including blaming heroin, crack and AID's on the US government, there is something ineffably wonderful about a man who can refer to Harper's, New York Times Magazine, NPR and PBS as "powerful sections of neoconservative opinion" in one breath and in the next, refer to them as bastions of feminism.
Don't get me wrong; I disagreed with almost every sentence in this book, but it was a joy to read.
GRADE: C+
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