Thursday, January 6, 2011

New York Times Book Review Excludes Black, Latino Critics

BeyondChron: San Francisco's Alt Online Daily News: "The latest example of the sad decline of the New York Times Book Review under editor Sam Tanenhaus is its January 2, 2010 edition on 'Why Criticism Matters' that excludes African-American and Latino critics. Citing the importance of the critic as cultural arbiter, the Times asked six critics to address the subject – none of whom were black or Latino. Further, the back page of the section cites seven cultural critics who inspired the issue’s theme: all seven are white men. We have previously discussed the Book Review’s neo-conservative agenda in its promoting a praiseworthy review of a book unfairly attacking Hampshire College; now it is defining critics as our leading cultural arbiters while ignoring the perspectives of the African-American, Latino and Asian-American critics whose outsider status has often resulted in salient critiques of the elite white culture trumpeted in the Times."