Beyond PC: Toward a Politics of Understanding

Patricia Aufderheide, Author Graywolf Press $11.95 (239p) ISBN 978-1-55597-164-9
This excellent contribution to the highly charged debate over multiculturalism collects a wide-ranging set of essays and articles, presenting views from right, left and center. The first section of the book gives the conservative critique. It opens with the National Association of Scholars' manifesto, which in many ways threw down the gauntlet in this debate by challenging affirmative action as well as campus speech codes. An excerpt from Dinesh D'Souza's bestselling Illiberal Education follows. Those defending multicultural education are given a forum next. John Wiener's investigation into D'Souza's dubious reporting techniques in his account of Harvard is a strong contribution here, as is Ruth Perry's history of the term ``political correctness.'' Among those looking for ways to move beyond the strong rhetoric of the issue, Reed Way Dasenbrook and Todd Gitlin seek a deeper analysis of how culture is constructed and what constitutes a true multiculturalism. The willingness of Aufderheide, an editor at In These Times , to convey without overt prejudice such a wide range of perspectives makes this volume a valuable contribution to a topic cluttered with erroneous and reactionary diatribes. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1992
Release date: 05/01/1992
Genre: Nonfiction
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