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Cornel West Tells His Story24:19

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Philosopher, teacher, intellectual, and race lightning rod, Cornel West knows how to stir people up, make them think, make them feel, drive them crazy.

He can bring a lecture hall or an amphitheater to its feet in rapture. He can, and did, drive a college president wild — Harvard’s then-president, now top Obama adviser, Larry Summers.

West — “Brother West,” as he has it in his new memoir — gets introduced as the “smartest black man in America.” He is a passionate near-poet — a bluesman, he says — of the American experience.

This hour, On Point: Cornel West, American original, tells his story.

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Cornel West joins us from Princeton, New Jersey. Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, he is the author of many works, including the 1993 bestseller "Race Matters," "Keeping Faith," "The Future of the Race" (with Henry Louis Gates Jr.), and "Democracy Matters." His new book, a memoir, is "Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud."

This program aired on October 23, 2009.

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