Words such as cardinal and scarlet can describe the same color but they take on markedly different meanings when we use them to consider the worth of a cardinal man or a scarlet woman. The comparison seems to conjure significantly more prejudice when we consider that a cardinal man is revered as righteous while a scarlet woman is reviled as wicked, particularly in terms of her sexual activity. In a similar way, by contrasting other pairs of words, we can see how they too invite discriminatory connotations in terms of what we value: Christian and pagan, crusade and jihad, highbrow and lowbrow, wizard and witch, right and left, white and black.
Keessen presents this playful yet scholarly study by way of a series of informal essays, arranged by chapter and topic, and in a storytellers lexicon tells us how certain notions developed.
Generously illustrated with whimsical illustrations by award winning artist Bill Hannan.