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by Walter Mosley
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Social Sciences
  • Author:
    Walter Mosley
  • ISBN:
    0345430697
  • ISBN13:
    978-0345430694
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Ballantine Books; 1 edition (January 4, 2000)
  • Pages:
    128 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Social Sciences
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1538 kb
  • ePUB format
    1331 kb
  • DJVU format
    1140 kb
  • Rating:
    4.9
  • Votes:
    138
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Acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley spins a different yarn in Workin' on the Chain Gang, imploring citizens to solve . Once again, Walter Mosley pitches a great game. This book may be light in physical weight, but it is full of heavy thinking

Acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley spins a different yarn in Workin' on the Chain Gang, imploring citizens to solve the social, economic, racial, and political crimes of late-20th-century civilization. Mosley takes aim at the average American's feelings of disempowerment and-while he is quick to point out the role race plays-he also states: "The problem facing Americans today does not originate from racial conflict. This book may be light in physical weight, but it is full of heavy thinking. Mosley examines modern American culture in a way that probably seems heretical to most Americans.

Ballantine, in its Library of Contemporary Thought series, commissioned Walter Mosley to write about race and . Admittedly, Mosley is looking at our situation as Americans before the awful events of September 11, 2001: The odd thing is that nothing has really changed.

Ballantine, in its Library of Contemporary Thought series, commissioned Walter Mosley to write about race and economics at the millennium. If anything, we are a far more oppressed people than we were in 2000.

Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries, departs from the detective genre to offer us Workin’ on the Chain Gang .

Walter Mosley, author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries, departs from the detective genre to offer us Workin’ on the Chain Gang: Shaking off the Dead Hand of History. This economic diatribe is part of Ballantine’s misnamed Library of Contemporary Thought, for there is nothing contemporary about Mosley’s economic thinking. Labeling Mosley’s thinking rehashed Marxism is not an exaggeration.

Indeed, as black novelist and activist Walter Mosley brilliantly argues in this . But each one of us can work toward breaking off these chains. Angry, original, and fearlessly honest, Workin' on the Chain Gang is a powerful examination of the American economic and political machine.

Indeed, as black novelist and activist Walter Mosley brilliantly argues in this impassioned call to arms, though the chains might be more recognizable in the lives of blacks, the same chains restrain us all. Only when we understand this truth can we begin-black and white together-to cast off the shackles. First by recognizing the truth of our history-a history that is crucially informed by the black experience.

Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History". New Yorker profile A radio interview with Walter Mosley Aired on the Lewis Burke Frumkes Radio. Booknotes (Interview). Interviewed by Brian Lamb. Covering Mosley: The books of Walter Mosley: 19 January 2004. A radio interview with Walter Mosley Aired on the Lewis Burke Frumkes Radio Show the 2nd of April 2011. Appearances on C-SPAN. Booknotes interview with Mosley on Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History, April 23, 2000.

Format: Book; ISBN: 0345430697; LOC call number: E185. M645 2000; Published: New York : Ballantine Publishing, 2000. Library of Contemporary Thought. New York : Ballantine Publishing, 2000. 0345430697 (alk. paper). 118 p. ; 22 cm. Notes.

But each one of us can work toward breaking off these chains. First by recognizing the truth of our history - a history that is crucially informed by the black experience. Second by beginning to free ourselves from the noise, the often shallow, diverting entertainments, and an all-consuming economic system. The nation and its potentials are ours to command, but only if we work, individually and collectively, to cast off the chains of yesterday's politics and seize the freedoms that the future holds.

Walter Mosley’s most recent essay collection isLife Out of Context,published in 2006.

Workin’ on the Chain Gangexcels at expressing feelings of ennui that transcend race. Walter Mosley’s most recent essay collection isLife Out of Context,published in 2006.

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Acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley spins a different yarn in Workin' on the Chain Gang, imploring citizens to solve the social, economic, racial, and political crimes of late-20th-century civilization.

Slavery was outlawed in this country more than a century ago, but Americans still wear chains. Each one of us, black and white alike, is shackled by a system that values money over humanity, power over truth, conformity over creativity. Race has undeniably made the problem worse, but race is not the root of the problem. Indeed, as black novelist and activist Walter Mosley brilliantly argues in this impassioned call to arms, though the chains might be more recognizable in the lives of blacks, the same chains restrain us all. Only when we understand this truth can we begin—black and white together—to cast off the shackles.Far from being a cause for celebration, the millennium, Mosley argues fiercely, should be the occasion for a frank reckoning with the real state of our society. We have the power to end starvation, but one-third of our children live in poverty. Our politics have degenerated into a multimillion-dollar game show ruled by two indistinguishable monopolies. We drug ourselves with television, sports, sex, apathy, and obsession with celebrity, while our cities rot and violence erupts in our schools.Why is this happening? Because we have allowed ourselves to be made into property, owned and controlled by an economic system in which "value" means only profit. "Some of us are cogs in the economic machine," writes Mosley, "others are ghosts, but it is the machine, not race or gender or even nationality, that drives us."But each one of us can work toward breaking off these chains. First by recognizing the truth of our history—a history that is crucially informed by the black experience. Second by beginning to free ourselves from the noise, the often shallow, diverting entertainments, and an all-consuming economic system. The nation and its potentials are ours to command, but only if we work, individually and collectively, to cast off the chains of yesterday's politics and seize the freedoms that the future holds.Angry, original, and fearlessly honest, Workin' on the Chain Gang is a powerful examination of the American economic and political machine. No matter what your race, gender, politics, or beliefs, this is a book that will profoundly alter the way you think—and the way you act.

Kirizan
Still holds up. Challenging and original in his thinking but concise and straightforward in his style. Mosley does not fit easily into the predominant black/white, conservative/liberal categories. You may completely agree with him on some things and completely disagree on others, but he will make you think. A quick, easy read that may take you years to digest.
Murn
After reading this book, I changed the way I live my life. I stopped waiting for that time when I can change the world, and started changing it in whatever small ways I can right now. I would advise everyone read this exceptional book.
JUST DO IT
I find it awesome. My friend told me about this book and I'm glad she did. I found some very interestimg things I didn't know and I love the book.
Ueledavi
I'm a huge Walter Mosley fan. I bought this one as a gift. He makes some great points, though I don't agree with his viewpoints regarding church involvement, I do see where he's coming from.
Akirg
Once again, Walter Mosley pitches a great game. This book may be light in physical weight, but it is full of heavy thinking.
Mosley examines modern American culture in a way that probably seems heretical to most Americans. Mosley asks his readers to do things most people would never seriously (I mean really seriously) consider.
The light stuff includes viewing people as individuals, not skin colors. Getting to know someone before passing mental judgement on them. Treating everyone with respect, until a person gives you reason to do otherwise. Ensuring all the elderly and all children have adequate food and medical care. Yeah, everyone's with Mosley on those ideas; if not deep inside, at least the majority of Americans realize that is the way it should be.
However, can you name three close friends or family members whom you could convince to give up all television for three months? How about a season's moritorium from sporting events and sports news? While you're at it, locate a group of friends also willing to forgo other forms of LCD (lowest common denominator) entertainment.
If you find it easy to contemplate abandoning those activities, Mosley has another suggestion for you. Let's dump capitalism as a way of life, as a staple of American society. There, are you still with me? Your job is slowly killing you. Going to work daily is like going to the plantation, except the whip has been replaced with credit card debt . . . that is, if you're lucky enough to have a credit card. By eagerly participating in the world as it is, you are no less brainwashed and perversly dependent than a woman who stays with a physically abusive man.
Perhaps even more amazing than the fact that Mosley considers and suggests such actions, is that he presents a convincing argument for all of his suggestions. You may not always agree with Mosley (though I did), but he always presents a logical line of thinking.
Once again, Mosley has produced a book that I am recommending to everyone I know. So far, Mosley is pitching a perfect game.
Yggfyn
What is even worse is that we must be reminded of these social issues that have become ingrained in this Country's psyche. This essay by Mr. Walter Mosley is not a one-dimensional discussion on race; rather it encompasses all of the citizens of our Country and what we accept actively or passively.
He touches on several topics in this brief work ranging from the selective history we continue to believe and teach, to obsessions with the absurd and worthless that consumes billions of dollars. He specifically cited the time and money spent on the coverage of O.J. Simpson, and Monica Lewinsky as examples. He challenges readers to turn off the television for three weeks to live outside of the sitcom, arena sports, and the for profit network news. Why? So that people have the time to think about what is truly important to them, and for many to realize the system that they are a part of has little concern for them, ever.
He also touched on privatized for profit prisons. This should not be a cause for debate for anyone who thinks about the topic for a moment. What decisions have been made when a prison needs to be profitable? What does a prison become when it is a business like any other that must have a positive bottom line from its operations? What incentive is there to minimize incarceration and its causes when those that are imprisoned have become a source of profit?
And then there is the apathy that is the cause of a minority of eligible voters that bother to vote. Less than half of those who can, choose from two candidates from the same parties election after election. These candidates resemble about 5% of the Country they wish to lead. They are wealthy, well educated, white, male, and have the ability to raise tens of millions of dollars in their pursuit of power. As this last Presidential Election showed, neither candidate could have cared less what was required of them to gain the office they sought for themselves. Winning was never about those voters they say they want to represent, just the fulfillment of their own selfish wishes. We heard that every vote should count, and then both candidates wanted to specify which were to be counted. One candidate who wished to be Commander in Chief thought nothing of trying to and successfully eliminating the votes of actively serving members of the armed forces.
None of these issues are new and that is what should concern all of us. This Country continues to be polarized by essentially two groups, possible three with the advent of almost 300 multi billionaires in the United States. There is nothing wrong with the creation of wealth, what matters is how it is made and how it is used when in the control of one individual. The irony of one of the super rich is that while at the same time accumulating wealth by means that allegedly were illegal, the same person has personally funded the largest charitable foundation on the planet.
Nothing new, no easy answers, but they must be addressed.