Masters of the Dream

Alan L. Keyes, Author, Martin L. Gross, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (214p) ISBN 978-0-688-09599-4
Black conservative Keyes, who hosts a radio talk show in Baltimore, here presents a broad-brush essay on the history and state of black America. He offers some overblown rhetoric-comparing the ``covert totalitarianism'' of the ``liberal welfare state'' to that of the Soviet Union-as well as suspect analysis, praising Martin Luther King Jr.'s statesmanship but ignoring his increased concern about economic inequality. But he does make worthy points: contra the notorious Moynihan report, black families long embraced family values; the black church has always fostered a black identity with ``moral and religious convictions''; Jesse Jackson jettisoned mainstream black values such as opposition to abortion as he gained prominence. Keyes blames Great Society liberalism for hitching black leaders to a federal tether while vitiating local power bases. This leads to his lightly sketched solution: respect local black institutions and values via ``community empowerment,'' or local self-government that allows neighborhood taxation, law enforcement, welfare programs and education. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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