Lobeck's Reviews > The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy

The Miner's Canary by Lani Guinier
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Jul 05, 2009

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bookshelves: society-and-politics
Read in July, 2009

The content deserves four stars, but since reading this book was a little like wading knee-deep through a swamp I have demoted it to three stars.

The information was great, and I like the main idea of using a race-conscious lens through which to analyze and then transform social, political and legal structures and power distribution. The breakdown of the different dimensions of power was great and offers a very useful framework to use when discussing and analyzing power.

The downside: the book's major concept of "political race" is not actually defined until about 100 pages in, and even then the definition was not entirely adequate. The book did a lot of describing aspects of the political race project and what it was meant to accomplish, but I am still left with some confusion about what exactly this term means. Other ideas are tediously over-explained. Though the ideas themselves are engaging, the writing is stiff and boring, making this book a chore to read. Given the importance of the ideas in this book, it seems like a more engaging book would be a more effective tool for social change. 'Cause it doesn't matter how spot-on you are if no one reads your book.
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Mickey My thoughts exactly! Heavy going, but the ideas are important.


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