DECLINE OF THE WEST. Cornel West, that is. “This is not the intellectual autobiography West promised a decade ago. In essence it is a fawning celebrity profile — one in which reporter and superstar have somehow fused into a single first-person voice. And in fact that turns out to be quite literally true. In the final pages, West pays tribute to David Ritz, his collaborator, who has undertaken similar projects with Marvin Gaye and Grandmaster Flash, among others.”