Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Life Arts

The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy, by Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres

By       Message GLloyd Rowsey       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   No comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Author 19172
Become a Fan
  (37 fans)
- Advertisement -

This book recalls Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, because it's the best book about race relations in America since Ellison's masterpiece of fifty years ago. By "race relations" I mean blacks and whites, as Ellison would have meant the words.  But The Miner's Canary is about much more, it's about all-minority-cultures and whites in America.  In direct opposition to the color-blind solution the Supreme Court has decided the Constitution requires, the book's authors esteem and celebrate and find strength, including political strength, in our separate cultural identities -- including the separate (non-oppressive) cultural identities of whites. 

When I put The Miner's Canary down, I wished I had read the Acknowledgments first, then the chapter "by" Gerald Torres.  This is a difficult book, it has many authors, and the voice I identify as Ms. Guinier's seems sometimes to address junior high school students and other times to address law professors.  So the book has many levels of analysis, and it treats its central topic -- political race -- from many angles.  These are not shortcomings, but they add up to a very demanding book. 

The book's real-life examples, however, are all wonderful and all one -- compelling and utterly elucidating 

There's also the book's immediacy.  Prominent economic historian Robert Fogel has emphasized the roles of technology and religious activism in America's movements for social justice, relegating progressivism to the status of an adjunct to the latter.  The Miner's Canary, on the other hand, puts the struggle for social justice squarely within the politics of progressivism.  This is not necessarily inconsistent with Fogel (whatever one thinks of the validity of his argument), assuming Fogel's subject is movements in the past before about 1980 when the Big Sleep set in -- which it is -- and assuming The Miner's Canary is describing developments since about 1980, which it is. The book says something new has been happening, and it started being more than unrelated occurrences about twenty five years ago.  This new thing Guinier and Torres call political race. 

- Advertisement -

The ambition, originality and insights of this book far outweigh its difficulties due to multiple voices and an "un-ironed out" presentation. It belongs on your shelf.  

(Review written in 2003)

- Advertisement -


- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

GLloyd Rowsey Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

For Brave Eyes - Eleven Images on December 8, 2008

Dorothea Rockburne – Introducing Mathematics into 20th Century Optical Art

A Pictorial Essay - Abstract Expressionism versus Geometric Expressionism

Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn, by Evan S. Connell

Fine Art on 12.28.008 - Four Contemporary Surrealist Paintings

Reflecting Sadness - The Art of Richard Estes