Monday, May 26, 2008
Cornel Ronald West
(American philosopher and public intellectual, 1953–). A provocative and charismatic public speaker, West cites the African American Baptist Church, Marxism, pragmatism, transcendentalism, and Anton Chekhov as influences. He self-identifies as a democratic socialist rather than a Marxist, mainly due to Marx's anti-religious views. Underpinning much of West's thought is the belief that white supremacy continues to define everyday life in America, and that this creates many "degraded and oppressed people hungry for identity, meaning, and self-worth." He has authored and co-authored many books, including Black Theology and Marxist Thought (1979), Prophesy Deliverance! An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity (1982), The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism (1989), The Ethical Dimensions of Marxist Thought (1991), Race Matters (1993), and Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism (2004).