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Book Review: 'Birth of a Nation'hood: Gaze, Script, and Spectacle in the O.J.Simpson Case'

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Despite Morrison’s polarizing introduction — in which she proclaims that only a racist belief in ”black irrationality” makes the O.J.-as-murderer scenario credible — these 11 eloquent essays, by academics and writers from various backgrounds, offer thoughtful, sometimes brilliant insights on the cultural fractures that the trial and its media frenzy both spotlighted and distorted. Standout pieces — like Patricia J. Williams’ witty, candid ”American Kabuki,” which explores the divide many black women face between racial and gender allegiances — redeem the complex human issues behind the button-pushing hype. A-