Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Duane Campbell's new book.
Duane Campbell, one of the editors of this blog, has published the 4th. edition of his book, Choosing Democracy; a practical Guide to Multicultural Education. ( Allyn and Bacon, 2010. )
This book provides a left- pro labor view of the U.S. economy and the needs of public schools. It is written for teachers. It includes a history of the development of the Irish American working class, and a detailed description of class.
Here is what Cornel West says about the book,
“This magisterial treatment of our contemporary crisis in American society, culture, and education takes us step-by-step through the treacherous terrains that impede our efforts to examine critically and expand effectively democracy in our time. His powerful text is the most comprehensive analysis we have of sharpening the practical strategies for multicultural education in America.
Like the exquisite poetry of Walt Whitman and the exhilarating music of Louis Armstrong, Duane Campbell’s empowering pedagogy is shot through with profound democratic sentiments. In our frightening moment of class polarization and racial balkanization, his themes of social reconstruction, cultural innovation, and political transformation—themes that link any talk about diversity to the expansion of democracy—are refreshing and uplifting. They also present the principal means by which we can link order to justice, civility to mutual respect, and merit to fairness.
His radical democratic analysis and vision is a voice of sanity at a time of irrationality—a voice that understands rage yet transforms bitterness into bonding. This bonding is neither naive nor utopian; rather it is rooted in a candid encounter with the sources of our rage and an unleashing of the best in us for serious democratic engagement that goes far beyond our hostilities.
The best of American life has always been embodied and enacted by courageous figures who chose democracy—from Thomas Paine, Harriet Tubman, César Chávez, Ronald Takaki, to Dolores Huerta. Duane Campbell makes it clear what it means to choose democracy in our classrooms, workplaces, homes, and civic life. In short, like James Baldwin, he frightfully reminds us that we either choose democracy now or ultimately witness the fire this time!
Cornel West. Princeton University.