The Fire Next Time
ISBN 13: 9780679601517
Publisher: Modern Library
Publication Date: 1995
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A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.
"One wonders why [the author] is so hard on the Apostle Paul, whose stormy career was dedicated to a transracial and transnational concept of love--love on the wide and practical scale--that is not so unlike the ideal commended by Mr. Baldwin. But the author's private views need not close our eyes to his firm, sound stand on the ground of our common humanity, our desperate need of one another. Would that his compelling words might be generally accepted before the fire of racial conflict is allowed to destroy the unfinished business of Emancipation's second century!"
John La Farge, Saturday Review, 2/2/1963
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