Published by Blackwell Publishers, 1992. Prepared in collaboration with James in his final year, this collection offers unique insight into the range and development of his life’s work. Introduction by Anna Grimshaw gives a great overview of James's work. Notes on the Chapters include background info on each selection.
To expand on the Reader, check out: The future in the present, Spheres of existence, At the rendezvous of victory anthologies that looked to bring together the best of James’s writing and introduce him to a new audience.
Author of such classic works as Minty Alley, The Black Jacobins and Beyond a Boundary, C. L. R. James was one of the most significant writers of our times.
In a life which reflected many of the distinctive features of the twentieth century (from his birth in Trinidad in 1901, to his death in Brixton, London, 1989), James made an outstanding contribution to debates on politics, history, art, literature and sport. His revolutionary vision has inspired social movements in the United States, Britain, Africa and the Caribbean. It remains central to any understanding of the modern world.
Until now much of his work has remained inaccessible; but Anna Grimshaw brings together here both published and unpublished material to give us the essential C.L.R. James. Prepared in collaboration with James in his final year, this collection offers unique insight into the range and development of his life’s work.
It includes a selection of early fiction, the complete text of the play The Black Jacobins, numerous extracts from his personal archive and the classic essays, The Case for West-Indian Self-Government, Popular Art and the Cultural Tradition and Black Power.
“A centrally important 20th-century figure, a Trinidadian black whose life as a scholar of history, political activist, cricket player and critic, cultural maverick, restless pilgrim between the West and its former colonial possessions in Africa and America, is emblematic of modern existence itself.” — Edward Said, Washington Post
“Quite simply, the outstanding West Indian of our century.” — Caryl Phillips, author of The Final Passage
Trinidad 1901-1938 :
La divina pastora
Britain 1932-1938 :
Bloomsbury: an encounter with Edith Sitwell
The case for West Indian self-government
Abyssinia and the imperialists
The black jacobins
Stalin and socialism
America and after 1938-1956 :
Letters to Constance Webb
Dialectical materialism and the fate of humanity
The revolutionary answer to the negro problem in the USA
The class struggle
Whitman and Melville
Letters to literary critics
Notes on Hamlet
Popular art and the cultural tradition
Preface to criticism
The African diaspora 1957-1989 :
Letters on politics
Lincoln, Carnival, George Padmore: writings from The Nation
From Toussaint L’Ouverture to Fidel Castro
What is art?’
Lenin and the vanguard party
Lenin and the problem
The people of the Gold Coast
The rise and fall of the Nkrumah
Black people in the urban areas of the United States
Black studies and the contemporary student
Picasso and Jackson Pollock
Three black women writers: Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange
About the editor: Anna Grimshaw was assistant and editor to CLR James in his later life until his death in 1989. She is now a professor of anthropology at Emory College in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interests are focused on ethnographic cinema.