Dealing With The N word

It's hard to imagine a more cynical marketing ploy than the one Pantheon Books devised for Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy's new work, which arrived in bookstores last week. In the transparent hope of stirring up a publicity-grabbing fuss, it gave the book a one-word title that happens to be the most odious racial slur in the English language. The scheme has already produced the desired effect, triggering a string of giddy newspaper articles. Among them: a New York Times profile in which Kennedy's editor, Erroll McDonald, gushed that his motive wasn't to boost sales but to make people "chill and...

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