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Conversation with John McWhorter

John McWhorter was on sparkling form for his recent Heterodox Academy appearance. He is well-aware that he is at the top of his game — and long may that last. I do hope that the talk will be made available online. It was Mary Lefkowitz who first alerted me to John some twenty years ago.…

Culture, Fate, and Public Policy

The always astute and nuanced John McWhorter’s take on Vance’s Hillbilly Elergy which I’m now ready to dive into having recently spend some time (albeit briefly) in Appalachian country. Hillbilly Elegy throws down a gauntlet to those who shape opinion on inequality and race in this country. Any reader must ask, “If Vance makes sense…

Race Pimping

Race pimping is more than a cottage industry and goes hand-in-hand with conceptual creep. Here is the ever insightful John McWhorter on the topic, well called by Booker T. Washington a long time ago. McWhorter grasps the idea of the imperfectability of mankind, something that rationalists (perhaps necessarily) delude themselves about. The way we use the…

John McWhorter: public intellectual par excellence

In a crowded field of public intellectuals, John McWhorter stands head and shoulders above most. He has a genuine commitment to the Socratic method (i.e. intellectual honesty), never peddling an over-rehearsed hardened position that he’s been married to since the year dot. One always feels that he really values the provisionality of intellectual discourse and is always…