Wayne C(layson) Booth William E. Cain - Essay

William E. Cain

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

This review violates the first commandment of book reviewing: do not criticize an author for failing to give us a book he never intended to write. But I see no getting around the fact that Wayne Booth's Critical Understanding: The Powers and Limits of Pluralism is misconceived. In my judgment, it is over-written, organized on highly questionable lines, and committed to solving problems that do not exist, at least not in the terms which Booth uses to describe them.

From one page to the next, Booth's writing is careful and lucid. But his book stretches over far too many pages, as he tediously returns to the same arguments in favor of a "limited pluralism," and, in the final chapters, offers...

(The entire section is 1192 words.)