Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld. Liberty Street, $27.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61893-171-9
An endearing lack of cynicism pervades Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld’s fifth book together, following What Color Is My World? Their latest work focuses on “continental divides” in American society such as “young versus old” and “men versus women.” Hoping to “expand the discussion about what America is and what it means to be American,” the book deploys easily grasped metaphors alongside current polling data and pop culture references. Each chapter ends with a numbered list of possible answers to the questions explored earlier. The prevailing tone is a plainspoken and principled defense of reason over emotion and education over ignorance. Betraying an encyclopedic knowledge of American culture, the book quotes an impressive array of figures as broad as Francis Bacon, Michelle Obama, and Gwendolyn Brooks. There are some missteps; the authors’ comments on gender roles may strike feminists as paternalistic, and their partisan derision for the GOP ignores Democratic foibles. Little here is startlingly original, but the book excels in translating, supporting, and passionately defending the ideas behind “the document that defines who we are and what we stand for: the U.S. Constitution.” (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2016
Release date: 08/23/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-61893-543-4
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