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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Inspiring Essays on Renewing "the Left"
In this collection, which includes his three Massey lectures delivered in 1997 and two related essays from 1995, Richard Rorty argues that the once vital "left," to which America is deeply indebted, has sadly rendered itself irrelevant. Rorty critiques members of the (post)modern left who, embittered by pervasive injustice, have eschewed meaningful campaigns...
Published on 30 Jun. 1998

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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rorty should find a new hobby.
Rorty points out the error of many while offering little in solutions. I found this book to be uninforming and redundant. If you are a blind followerer with no imagination, you might find this an interesting read.
Published on 17 Dec. 1998


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Inspiring Essays on Renewing "the Left", 30 Jun. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-century America (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) (Hardcover)
In this collection, which includes his three Massey lectures delivered in 1997 and two related essays from 1995, Richard Rorty argues that the once vital "left," to which America is deeply indebted, has sadly rendered itself irrelevant. Rorty critiques members of the (post)modern left who, embittered by pervasive injustice, have eschewed meaningful campaigns for political change in favor of too-abstract theory, too-utopian "movements" and too-pessimistic contempt for those who would work "within the system" for necessary reform. The American Left, Rorty argues, has become "spectatorial" rather than "participatory," able to comment upon the nation's descent into oligarchy but stymied by view that our nation's sins are so ingrained as to place us beyond redemption.
Drawing on figures such as Walt Whitman, John Dewey, Abraham Lincoln, Irving Howe, Herbert Croly, and Harold Bloom, Rorty conjures an inspiring vision of a left that reconciles economic and cultural progressivism and becomes once again a participatry, progressive, and relevant force in American politics.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the message more so than the book, 24 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-century America (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) (Hardcover)
...not a spectacular or well arguemented book but one providing many insights. Insights needed particularily for my generation of ambivalent college students...being bombarded with the shames of our country's past and current state. Are these reasons enough to ignore our country while we each separetly pursue our own selfish interests? No, we as Americans must do something better for our country...a shared belief in hope needs to be in our consciousness. One that works for us all. The book helps you perceive things and why we cannot give up on our country.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rorty should find a new hobby., 17 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-century America (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization) (Hardcover)
Rorty points out the error of many while offering little in solutions. I found this book to be uninforming and redundant. If you are a blind followerer with no imagination, you might find this an interesting read.
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