Books by Paul Robeson

Released: April 1, 2001

"Informed by a filial piety throughout, but hardly an unbiased take. (photographs, not seen)"
An intimate biography of Paul Robeson, written by his son. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1993

Feisty and persuasive essays championing the principle of multiculturalism. Robeson (son of the legendary black actor, singer, and activist) pushes the ``culture war'' controversy beyond the narrow confines of university campuses to show how the outcome of this debate could fundamentally affect all levels of US economic and social life. Robeson views the panorama of American history—from the Emancipation Proclamation to Ross Perot—as an ongoing struggle pitting the dominant melting-pot philosophy of American life against an alternative ``mosaic'' orientation. Most forms of racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination, Robeson argues, are rooted in melting-pot culture. By discarding the notion of group rights in favor of radical individualism, the melting pot has coerced nonwhite and ethnic-white (e.g., Polish-American) immigrants into conforming to a cultural standard defined and controlled by Anglo-Saxon males. Blacks have fared worst under this system because racial differences preclude full assimilation. Indeed, a ``core melting-pot principle'' has always been to encourage ethnic-white hostility toward blacks in order to assure ``WASP ascension.'' Robeson contends that the solution is to adopt a multicultural mosaic view of society that encourages ethnic/racial group rights and identities. A mosaic society would promote a diverse culture shared by all groups while stigmatizing none. Repudiating radical individualism, this mosaic orientation would employ a ``communitarian logic'' that would seek balance between economic profit and human needs. In related essays, the author comments on the Clarence Thomas controversy, women's rights, and Bill Clinton, whom he praises as the first truly mosaic-minded President. Though the prose veers toward scholarly denseness, these essays cover vital ground in the debate over the future of America's cultural soul. (First printing of 10,000) Read full book review >