McCuen Gary E. - Bender David L. - The radical left and the far right

Authors : McCuen Gary E. - Bender David L.
Title : The radical left and the far right Fring groups speak on the problem of race Opposing viewpoints series
Year : 1970

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A major emphasis of this book is on critical thinking skills. Discussion exercises included after the readings are not laborious writing assignments . They are written only to stimulate class discussion and critical thinking. Some exercises deal with the ability to distinguish between statements of fact, opinion, and bias. Others permit experimentation with the capacity to evaluate different sources of information and to recognize that human problems and conflicts are extremely complex. Some exercises also allow experimenting with one's ability to empathize or be openminded and view an issue from several points of view. Without these critical skills people can easily be misled by propaganda. Another focal point of this volume is contemporary fri nge political parties and organizations. Very little information exists in educational curricula and libraries about fringe political organizations and publications. This is unfortunate because they have recently become increasingly numerous and active. This book helps to fulfill a crucial need. Publishers often fail to print materials that expose students to the excitement of conflicting interpretations. A discussion can frequently be rather meaningless if preparation is made for it by reading a book representing only one author's point of view. This reader uses a real inquiry approach. Its organization and content automatically force readers to think critically. The book contains conflicting interpretations by radical left and far right publications concerning the topic of radical conflict. It permits students to compare the radical left and far right and allows them to analyze the similarities and differences within each polarity. There is no editorializing for or against any ideas presented in this book. The editors believe a lamentable intolerance exists in American society for fringe social and political viewpoints. We think publishers, libraries, and educational institutions have not exposed readers to the wide spectrum of social, political, and economic ideas. It should be remembered, however, that sometimes people, movements, and ideas on the fringe of society prove to be the most profound and useful to future generations, even though they are often despised in their own time. Chnst and Socrates, for example, were both considered radicals and subversives by mainstream society and put to death by their own people. It is also noteworthy to recall that Hitler's philosophy, a fringe position in the 1920's, rapidly became the popular mainstream ideology in the Germany of the 1930's. Knowledge and curiosity alone should justify the study of ideas presented in this book. History suggests that there might be other important reasons also. ...

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