The Fire Next Time (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780140182750: The Fire Next Time (Penguin Modern Classics)
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The landmark work on race in America from James Baldwin, whose life and words are immortalized in the Oscar-nominated film I Am Not Your Negro 'We, the black and the white, deeply need each other here if we are really to become a nation' James Baldwin's impassioned plea to 'end the racial nightmare' in America was a bestseller when it appeared in 1963, galvanising a nation and giving voice to the emerging civil rights movement. Told in the form of two intensely personal 'letters', The Fire Next Time is at once a powerful evocation of Baldwin's early life in Harlem and an excoriating condemnation of the terrible legacy of racial injustice. 'Sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle ... all presented in searing, brilliant prose' The New York Times Book Review 'Baldwin writes with great passion ... it reeks of truth, as the ghettoes of New York and London, Chicago and Manchester reek of our hypocrisy' Sunday Times 'The great poet-prophet of the civil rights movement ... his seminal work' Guardian

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It's shocking how little has changed between the races in this country since 1963, when James Baldwin published this coolly impassioned plea to "end the racial nightmare." The Fire Next Time--even the title is beautiful, resonant, and incendiary. "Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?" Baldwin demands, flicking aside the central race issue of his day and calling instead for full and shared acceptance of the fact that America is and always has been a multiracial society. Without this acceptance, he argues, the nation dooms itself to "sterility and decay" and to eventual destruction at the hands of the oppressed: "The Negroes of this country may never be able to rise to power, but they are very well placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain on the American dream."

Baldwin's seething insights and directives, so disturbing to the white liberals and black moderates of his day, have become the starting point for discussions of American race relations: that debasement and oppression of one people by another is "a recipe for murder"; that "color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality"; that whites can only truly liberate themselves when they liberate blacks, indeed when they "become black" symbolically and spiritually; that blacks and whites "deeply need each other here" in order for America to realize its identity as a nation.

Yet despite its edgy tone and the strong undercurrent of violence, The Fire Next Time is ultimately a hopeful and healing essay. Baldwin ranges far in these hundred pages--from a memoir of his abortive teenage religious awakening in Harlem (an interesting commentary on his first novel Go Tell It on the Mountain) to a disturbing encounter with Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad. But what binds it all together is the eloquence, intimacy, and controlled urgency of the voice. Baldwin clearly paid in sweat and shame for every word in this text. What's incredible is that he managed to keep his cool. --David Laskin

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"So eloquent in its passion and so scorching in its candor that it is bound to unsettle any reader."--The Atlantic

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679744726: The Fire Next Time

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ISBN 10:  067974472X ISBN 13:  9780679744726
Publisher: Vintage, 1992
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9780440325420: Fire Next Time, The

Laurel, 1985
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9780679601517: The Fire Next Time (Modern Library)

Modern..., 1995
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9780718101374: The Fire Next Time

The Di..., 1963
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PENGUI..., 1970
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The landmark work on race in America from James Baldwin, whose life and words are immortalized in the Oscar-nominated film I Am Not Your Negro We, the black and the white, deeply need each other here if we are really to become a nation James Baldwin s impassioned plea to end the racial nightmare in America was a bestseller when it appeared in 1963, galvanising a nation and giving voice to the emerging civil rights movement. Told in the form of two intensely personal letters , The Fire Next Time is at once a powerful evocation of Baldwin s early life in Harlem and an excoriating condemnation of the terrible legacy of racial injustice. Sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle . all presented in searing, brilliant prose The New York Times Book Review Baldwin writes with great passion . it reeks of truth, as the ghettoes of New York and London, Chicago and Manchester reek of our hypocrisy Sunday Times The great poet-prophet of the civil rights movement . his seminal work Guardian. Seller Inventory # APG9780140182750

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The landmark work on race in America from James Baldwin, whose life and words are immortalized in the Oscar-nominated film I Am Not Your Negro We, the black and the white, deeply need each other here if we are really to become a nation James Baldwin s impassioned plea to end the racial nightmare in America was a bestseller when it appeared in 1963, galvanising a nation and giving voice to the emerging civil rights movement. Told in the form of two intensely personal letters , The Fire Next Time is at once a powerful evocation of Baldwin s early life in Harlem and an excoriating condemnation of the terrible legacy of racial injustice. Sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle . all presented in searing, brilliant prose The New York Times Book Review Baldwin writes with great passion . it reeks of truth, as the ghettoes of New York and London, Chicago and Manchester reek of our hypocrisy Sunday Times The great poet-prophet of the civil rights movement . his seminal work Guardian. Seller Inventory # APG9780140182750

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