Life Out of Context

Walter Mosley, Author . Nation $12.95 (103p) ISBN 978-1-56025-846-9

The isolation and ineffectuality of the American left is lamented in this brooding, somewhat unfocused cri de coeur. Writing primarily for an African-American audience, novelist Mosley (the Easy Rawlins mystery series) argues that today's political myopia and paralysis are caused by a lack of "context." Americans, he contends, dwell on their own problems while ignoring the global context of oppression and exploitation—in Iraq, Africa and elsewhere—in which they are complicit. They are in turn shut out of decision-making forums, whose agenda is set mainly by the narrow interests of the wealthy and privileged. The efforts of progressive groups, meanwhile, lack any unified context and rallying point, and are therefore fragmented and dispersed among a myriad of causes. These musings prompt a number of suggestions, some of which—like giant downtown video screens to project images of humanitarian crises abroad—the author almost immediately retracts. Mosley's most substantive proposal is to challenge the two-party duopoly with a black political party; unfortunately, however, he does not discuss ways to lower the formidable institutional barriers to third parties in the American electoral system. In the end, he falls back on platitudes about the need for citizens to get involved and speak truth to power. Fine sentiments, indeed, but they fall well short of a cogent guide to action. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/14/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.