BOOK REVIEW

Stanley Cavell’s American Dream: Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Hollywood Movies. Lawrence F. Rhu. New York: Fordham University Press, 2006. Pp. xviiiþ248. Unlike books on Stanley Cavell that have organized the subjects of his work into separate chapters, Lawrence F. Rhu’s Stanley Cavell’s American Dream: Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Hollywood Movies provides intellectually stimulating paths of summary analysis, and original applications of Cavell’s thinking, that illuminate the convergent alignments of subjects and the philosophical dynamics that have engaged Cavell throughout his writings. In his foreword to Rhu’s book, Cavell expresses gratitude for Rhu’s ‘‘remarkable effort to venture a different course’’ (xv), and he credits the success of this effort: ‘‘Rhu’s sympathetic intelligence and his body of learning seem to me to introduce expansions or extensions of my texts of a most welcome kind, ones that lead him to further, surprising thoughts of his own, compliments to us both’’ (xvi). The erudition required for Rhu’s successful integration of Cavell’s insights unavoidably mirrors a problem—and a possibility—that are intrinsic to Cavell’s writing: the challenge of making his observations accessible to readers whose areas of expertise coincide with some of the subjects addressed by Cavell, but whose concentrations in their specialties may hinder their responses to the crosscurrents or impingements of Cavell’s more capacious configurations. Rhu’s disclosure of his reflections on ‘‘the cycles of lost-ness and recovery that have moved me to think and write about Stanley Cavell’’ (xi) reveals a commitment and preparedness to fulfill the task he has undertaken: to convey ‘‘moments of convergence where traditionally disparate elements—such as Shake-

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