Pitner draws on European philosophy movements to fill the linguistic void and analyze its bleak, often paradoxical effects. His philosophical explorations build on and circle back to each other to form a cohesive, effectively structured analysis. Narrative moments from Pitner’s personal journey toward understanding ethnocide provide a human story balancing his profound linguistic analysis. Pitner’s insightful, entirely original argument provides a fascinating new way to understand American national culture and to reclaim identities suppressed by ethnocide.
Erudite if uneven ... Intriguing historical tidbits, such as how the spiritual 'Kum Bah Yah' lost its original meaning as a call for God to rescue the Gullah people, buttress Pitner’s analysis, but his optimistic conclusion that ethnocide is 'unsustainable' runs counter to his central argument that it is baked into American culture. Still, this is a well-intentioned and often incisive examination of the forces of inequality.
Cogent ... At its best, this heavily researched book shimmers with creativity and intelligence, expertly balancing realism, optimism, and honesty. At times, though, it can be difficult to keep track of the barrage of terminology, especially since a new word is introduced almost every chapter. Additionally, Pitner draws almost exclusively from White, male, European philosophers ... A mostly well-argued, deeply felt treatise on the links among language, racism, and redemption.