cover image Keeping Faith

Keeping Faith

Cornel West. Routledge, $85 (340pp) ISBN 978-0-415-90486-5

Readers who enjoyed the illuminating essays in West's bestselling Race Matters will be baffled by this collection of 17 academic essays. West is a formidable intellect, but only tenacious, grounded readers will find useful his analyses of philosphers like Georg Lukacs and Fredric Jameson, or his criticism of the radical movement known as Critical Legal Studies. Those looking for elaboration on the themes developed in Race Matters will find a mixed bag. Essays on ``The New Cultural Politics of Difference'' and ``The Dilemma of the Black Intellectual'' set out the options facing critics like himself, though they lack concrete examples. A final piece, on the conflicting legacies of 1960s black activism, offers valuable historical analysis, but it was written in 1984 and should have been updated with references to present politicians and debates. (Nov.)