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Doing Our Own Thing


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Is the English language in decline? Is contemporary music a pale imitation of the musical riches of the past? Linguist John McWhorter argues in this provocative, controversial book that the legacy of the 1960's has caused us to value the verbal and the oral over the written forms of language and music, impoverishing our culture.

About the Author

John McWhorter is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and an associate Professor of Linguistics at UC Berkeley. He is the author of The Power of Babel- A Natural History of Language, as well as a book about black English, The Word on the Street.


"'Fascinating... Generally persuasive and always entertainingly argued... An arresting thesis... McWhorter's...examples reflect a wide-ranging knowledge of popular culture, and he is full of odd, illuminating facts.'" * Independent *
"'Every generation believes that language is in decline, but Doing Our Own Thing argues that this time the concern is real... John McWhorter's...analysis is insightful, richly documented, and yes, eloquently written.'" * Steven Pinker *

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