Jonker, very insightfully explains how despite the gains, late modernity with its uncertainties can create a “politically overcorrect one-sidedness” (61).
As an antidote he suggests a “decent theory of history” (62) which can protect against both anthropocentrism as well as cultural relativism by enabling a reconciliation of diverse cultural perspectives that goes beyond naïve multiculturalism.
John Updike is the focus of John-Paul Colgan who traces the development of the writer from a self-proclaimed defender of America, to an expositor of its flaws and contradictions.
Especially his 2006 novel, verges on an approach of Al-Quaeda terrorism as “a type of severe critique of an America that has lost its way” (126).
Lauter’s article is not randomly placed first, for it essentially sets the ground for some of the questions and concerns voiced in the rest of the book.
Indeed, Richard Alba’s essay that follows focuses on issues of immigration and assimilation by examining the incorporation of immigrant groups in the US, France and Germany in order to prove how multiculturalism was not essentially affected in America in contrast to European societies.The focus of the volume is multiculturalism’s evolution on both sides of the Atlantic after the events of 9/11.This is important since political theorists involved in discussions of multiculturalism so far have tended to ignore the role of 9/11 and have studied it as uninterrupted.” (86) of the events gives them substance and reveals their true meaning.This is what the film also highlights on a diegetic level through scenes of cell phone conversations between the passengers of flight 93 and their loved ones as well as through film-within film instances when we see those working on the military center watching on TV the planes hitting the towers.However, it seems that he misses the point when he argues for a “heroic representation that encourages cross-racial, cross-gendered and collective action” (102) since such a representation would still legitimize the so-called war on terror.The problem, as far as I am concerned, is not simply one of a politically correct construction of heroism but of an exposure of the politics involved and the violence sustained behind such constructions.What the essays in this section reveal as a whole is how multiculturalism has been discredited to a lesser or greater extend after the events of 9/11, or rather after these events were usurped by right-wing ploys in an attempt to unite the nation against a so-called common enemy.The four articles in the last section of the book open up, as its title very successfully suggests, transatlantic dialogues as they discuss the fate of multiculturalism on both sides of the Atlantic after 9/11.Overall, Jonker is right when he says that we can and should accept competing points of view that will lead to pragmatic political choices.is perhaps the strongest part of the volume as it engages in a careful and well informed study of American cultural texts that attempt to record in one way or another the events of 9/11, or as its title suggests, the “unthinkable.” To begin with, Rob Kroes examines how the horror of 9/11 was captured by what he calls the “intrusive camera eye” (75) which turned the people falling from the towers into iconic images, forever frozen in collective memory.