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Nussbaum argues that we should distrust conventional patriotism and see ourselves instead as "citizens of the world."
"Joshua Cohen has created a visionary novel that is terrifying and heartbreaking and humbling in its luminous brilliance. In my view, it firmly places the author on the same level as Kafka."-Michael Disend, author of Stomping the Goyim"The idea that there are multiple heavens, right ones and wrong ones, white ones and black ones, is pushed to its fantastical limits by Brooklyn writer Joshua Cohen in his dream-world novel of the afterlife. . . . Heaven is a challenging but rewarding read on thematic and formal levels."-The Brooklyn Rail"A breathless flight of controlled delirium, an exquisitely blasphemous tour of an afterlife where earth's dominion, in all its terror and glory, trumps the miraculous and overturns the world to come. . . . It's a brave book that should earn its young author the reader's profound and enduring admiration."-Steve Stern, author of The Frozen RabbiWhen a ten-year-old Jewish boy is exploded on a Jerusalem street by a ten-year-old Palestinian boy, he wakes up in a heaven no one in his tradition prepared him for, a heaven of others. Joshua Cohen's novel stands at the crossroads of a conflicted city and wordplay that both celebrates and dismantles tradition.
The long-awaited final work and magnum opus of one of the United States's greatest authors, critics, and tastemakers, In Partial Disgrace is a sprawling self-contained trilogy chronicling the troubled history of a small Central European nation bearing certain similarities to Hungary--and whose rise and fall might be said to parallel the strange contortions taken by Western political and literary thought over the course of the twentieth century. More than twenty years in the making, and containing a cast of characters, breadth of insight, and degree of stylistic legerdemain to rival such staggering achievements as William H. Gass's The Tunnel, Carlos Fuentes's Terra Nostra, Robert Coover's The Public Burning, or Péter Nádas's Parallel Lives, In Partial Disgrace may be the last great work to issue from the generation that changed American letters in the '60s and '70s.
Polygamy, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, punishing women for being raped, differential access for men and women to health care and education, unequal rights of ownership, assembly, and political participation, unequal vulnerability to violence. These practices and conditions are standard in some parts of the world. Do demands for multiculturalism--and certain minority group rights in particular--make them more likely to continue and to spread to liberal democracies? Are there fundamental conflicts between our commitment to gender equity and our increasing desire to respect the customs of minority cultures or religions? In this book, the eminent feminist Susan Moller Okin and fifteen of the world's leading thinkers about feminism and multiculturalism explore these unsettling questions in a provocative, passionate, and illuminating debate.Okin opens by arguing that some group rights can, in fact, endanger women. She points, for example, to the French government's giving thousands of male immigrants special permission to bring multiple wives into the country, despite French laws against polygamy and the wives' own bitter opposition to the practice. Okin argues that if we agree that women should not be disadvantaged because of their sex, we should not accept group rights that permit oppressive practices on the grounds that they are fundamental to minority cultures whose existence may otherwise be threatened.In reply, some respondents reject Okin's position outright, contending that her views are rooted in a moral universalism that is blind to cultural difference. Others quarrel with Okin's focus on gender, or argue that we should be careful about which group rights we permit, but not reject the category of group rights altogether. Okin concludes with a rebuttal, clarifying, adjusting, and extending her original position. These incisive and accessible essays--expanded from their original publication in Boston Review and including four new contributions--are indispensable reading for anyone interested in one of the most contentious social and political issues today. The diverse contributors, in addition to Okin, are Azizah al-Hibri, Abdullahi An-Na'im, Homi Bhabha, Sander Gilman, Janet Halley, Bonnie Honig, Will Kymlicka, Martha Nussbaum, Bhikhu Parekh, Katha Pollitt, Robert Post, Joseph Raz, Saskia Sassen, Cass Sunstein, and Yael Tamir.
The events of September 11 and the subsequent war on terrorism have provoked widespread discussion about the possibility of democracy in the Islamic world. Such topics as the meaning of jihad, the role of clerics as authoritative interpreters, and the place of human rights and toleration in Islam have become subjects of urgent public debate around the world. With few exceptions, however, this debate has proceeded in isolation from the vibrant traditions of argument within Islamic theology, philosophy, and law. Islam and the Challenge of Democracy aims to correct this deficiency. The book engages the reader in a rich discourse on the challenges of democracy in contemporary Islam. The collection begins with a lead essay by Khaled Abou El Fadl, who argues that democracy, especially a constitutional democracy that protects basic individual rights, is the form of government best suited to promoting a set of social and political values central to Islam. Because Islam is about submission to God and about each individual's responsibility to serve as His agent on Earth, Abou El Fadl argues, there is no place for the subjugation to human authority demanded by authoritarian regimes. The lead essay is followed by eleven others from internationally respected specialists in democracy and religion. They address, challenge, and engage Abou El Fadl's work. The contributors include John Esposito, Muhammad Fadel, Noah Feldman, Nader Hashemi, Bernard Haykel, Muqtedar Khan, Saba Mahmood, David Novak, William Quandt, Kevin Reinhart, and Jeremy Waldron.
The football field is a battlefield There's an extraordinary price for victory at Oregrove High. It is paid on and off the football field. And it claims its victims without mercy including the most innocent bystanders. When a violent, steroid-infused, ever-escalating prank war has devastating consequences, an unlikely friendship between a talented but emotionally damaged fullback and a promising gymnast might hold the key to a school's salvation. Told in alternating voices and with unapologetic truth, Leverage illuminates the fierce loyalty, flawed justice, and hard-won optimism of two young athletes.
After decades of hand-wringing and well-intentioned efforts to improve inner cities, ghettos remain places of degrading poverty with few jobs, much crime, failing schools, and dilapidated housing. Stepping around fruitless arguments over whether or not ghettos are dysfunctional communities that exacerbate poverty, and beyond modest proposals to ameliorate their problems, one of America's leading experts on civil rights gives us a stunning but commonsensical solution: give residents the means to leave.Inner cities, writes Owen Fiss, are structures of subordination. The only way to end the poverty they transmit across generations is to help people move out of them--and into neighborhoods with higher employment rates and decent schools. Based on programs tried successfully in Chicago and elsewhere, Fiss's proposal is for a provocative national policy initiative that would give inner-city residents rent vouchers so they can move to better neighborhoods. This would end at last the informal segregation, by race and income, of our metropolitan regions. Given the government's role in creating and maintaining segregation, Fiss argues, justice demands no less than such sweeping federal action.To sample the heated controversy that Fiss's ideas will ignite, the book includes ten responses from scholars, journalists, and practicing lawyers. Some endorse Fiss's proposal in general terms but take issue with particulars. Others concur with his diagnosis of the problem but argue that his policy response is wrongheaded. Still others accuse Fiss of underestimating the internal strength of inner-city communities as well as the hostility of white suburbs.Fiss's bold views should set off a debate that will help shape urban social policy into the foreseeable future. It is indispensable reading for anyone interested in social justice, domestic policy, or the fate of our cities.
On Christmas Eve 1999, all the Jews in the world die in a strange, millennial plague, with the exception of the firstborn males, who are soon adopted by a cabal of powerful people in the American government. By the following Passover, however, only one is still alive: Benjamin Israelien; a kindly, innocent, ignorant man-child. As he finds himself transformed into an international superstar, Jewishness becomes all the rage: matzo-ball soup is in every bowl, sidelocks are hip; and the only truly Jewish Jew left is increasingly stigmatized for not being religious. Since his very existence exposes the illegitimacy of the newly converted, Israelien becomes the object of a worldwide hunt . . . Meanwhile, in the not-too-distant future of our own, "real" world, another last Jew-the last living Holocaust survivor-sits alone in a snowbound Manhattan, providing a final melancholy witness to his experiences in the form of the punch lines to half-remembered jokes.
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