The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2020
Advent / Christmas Calendar
Hardback: Eerdmans, 2020
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In Marilyn McEntyre’s latest book, Speaking Peace in a Climate of Conflict, she gives us a bold and necessary challenge: stepping into a world that is awash in “simplistic partisan rhetoric” and “glib euphemisms” and instead finding “words that comfort” and “sustain courage” (front cover flap, 2).
But McEntyre does not just issue this challenge and then leave us to it. Instead, she exhibits the same care for the reader I imagine she does for her students, equipping us with the tools we’ll need along the way. These tools come in the shape of chapters on topics about unmasking euphemisms, embracing our allusive impulses, telling it “slant,” articulating our outrage, finding and checking facts, minding our metaphors, laughing when we can, and perhaps most importantly, resisting the urge to always “win.”
In these chapters, she has identified
“a number of strategies for maintaining clarity, integrity, and authenticity in the midst of morass, drawing examples from contemporary writers and speakers, stewards of words, from whom we can all learn. It is a time to be, as they are, deft and strategic, subversive, surprising, amusing, able to offer the occasional ‘shock of recognition’ that reminds and reawakens” (3).
- from our review by Alisa Williams
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***READ an excerpt from this book…