Quotable Literary Quote: Speechless by Michael Knowles

I am composing a review of the book I recently finished. Writing is slow going these days, but I plan to post it by Wednesday. In the meantime, I have already moved on to another book, and I wanted to share a quote from it because I love sharing tidbits of what I am reading. But y’all already know that about me.

My current read is Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds, by Michael Knowles. It’s a scholarly book with a conversational tone; in my estimation, the best kind of nonfiction. On page 73, he notes:

Leftist academics contrived the intellectual framework for political correctness in the 1920s and ’30s. Novelists around the world prophesied the political effects of PC in the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. Student radicals, armed with the writings of Mao and Marcuse, took up the cause in the 1960s. And in the 1970s, feminists helped political correctness break into mainstream public discourse.

“A man cannot be politically correct and a chauvinist too,” averred the feminist activist Toni Cade in her 1970 anthology, The Black Woman.

Feminists sought to overthrow a culture they decried as patriarchal by making language fickle, which itself required a fundamental restructuring of the political order.

For the record, this is not a book about feminism. It’s a book about the trajectory of language -and the political result- in the 20th and 21st centuries using thorough research and rigorous scholarship. In lieu of a formal review, I expect to give this book the same treatment I gave to Thomas Sowell’s, A Man of Letters. Insightful quotes seem far more impactful than my personal opinions of the writing within certain books.

Hope you’re having a great Monday.

3 thoughts on “Quotable Literary Quote: Speechless by Michael Knowles

  1. karly says:

    Looking forward to your review– this is on my to-read list. I’m intrigued by how the use (or misuse, perhaps?) of language has been fundamental to change in our society.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. elspeth says:

    It’s a well researched book Karly, one of my favorite kinds! I like to check the work of authors, 🙂

    I’m only about 1/3 of the way through Speechless, but I’m working on my review of “Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes”. It’s not done, so instead I posted a plug of a really great piece that Hearthie wrote for today.

    Liked by 1 person

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