Despite the increasing climate of racial hatred and violence in America, discussions of race seem to be mired in traditional liberal and conservative rhetoric. Finally Cornel West provides a transformative voice willing to go to the heart of the issues and help begin the healing of our nation. Race Matters addresses some of today's most urgent issues for black Americans - from discrimination to despair, from leadership to the legacy of Malcolm X. West has the courage to break taboos of silence in the black community, while always acknowledging the realities of race in America. West, the grandson of a Baptist minister, has fused the love ethic of the African-American religious tradition with the political insights of the Black Panthers. From his fresh perspective on race in America, West is able to untangle even the issues that have been too painful or controversial for others: the new black conservatism, black-Jewish relations, and myths about black sexuality. Philosopher, theologian, and activist, West was described by the New York Times as "a cosmopolitan public intellectual among academic specialists ... [West] makes the life of the mind exciting." Scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., called West "our Black Jeremiah," and Harvard Divinity School's Dean Ronald F. Thiemann said West is "the only person on the intellectual scene capable of inheriting the mantle of Reinhold Niebuhr." Racial hierarchy, Cornel West warns, dooms us as a nation to collective paranoia and hysteria - the unmaking of any democratic order. With love and insight, West's Race Matters will help guide Americans toward a genuine multiracial democracy.