Monday, February 4, 2008

Racial Paranoia--a book that scares people

Kirkus Review just ran an amazingly unprofessional review (actually a misreading) of my forthcoming book, Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness.

The revealing thing about the review is that it is clear the reviewer didn't read the book carefully, if at all. They describe it as full of academic jargon, though it is not, and then they say that I claim blacks are debilitated by paranoia, which is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what I argue in Racial Paranoia. THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT I EXPLICITLY SAY--AND DESCRIBE.

I knew the provocative nature of this book would upset some people, but a short and dismissive Kirkus Review by someone who seems to have simply skimmed the book's preface and conclusion before churning out a canned and hasty "review" is WILDLY IRRESPONSIBLE.

Knee-jerk responses like these are EXACTLY the reason why I wrote this book in the first place--and why I ask readers to think about race a little differently than they have been trained to do. This reviewer is an example of someone thinking they know what the book is arguing without really reading it, which is inexcusable.

The reviewer describes the book as "repetitive," but evidently it should have repeated its main argument even more often--since the 30 or fewer pages that this reviewer actually glanced through clearly didn't hammer the point home enough.

The good thing, however, is that this malicious misreading actually proves part of the book's point. People think they already know everything they need to know about what other people are saying when the topic is "race"--even without ever listening.

I haven't gotten the name of the reviewer yet, but I'm sure it will be telling information. More on that in a bit...


Bhappi said...

Was looking at, and saw you had a blog. YAY!

Your response is absolutely hilarious!! I know you're not laughing, but you gotta think it's funny that people have the NERVE to publish reviews of texts that they haven't even read. PLEASE post the reviewer's name here, so we know who this ridiculous person is. Looking forward to more posts from Anthroman...

Dumi said...

I can't stop laughing at the anthroman action figure. Classic! I look forward to reading Racial Paranoia, no matter what foolish Kirkus reviewers say. Keep up the cutting edge work!

ldb said...

Welcome to the world of trade publications. Seriously, congrats on another fine book. People will of course get what they want from any text, lets just hope some people are ready to learn from what you have written. I am looking forward to reading it. Keep teachin' LDB

Kyle said...

Some people are going to review your book, other people are going to complain that you didn't write the book they would have written if they were you, and still others will review the book they think you wrote because they can't imagine you would have written anything else.

Ultimately I think those types of reviews only stir others who understand what you've done to speak out when they might not have otherwise -- so it's probably a net positive.

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