FREE SHIPPING on US orders $35 or more!



Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

Regular price $ 27.00

by Eddie S. Glaude

Crown Publishing Group

6/30/2020, hardcover

SKU: 9780525575320

 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. In our own moment, when that confrontation feels more urgently needed than ever, what can we learn from his struggle?

We live, according to Eddie S. Glaude Jr., in a moment when the struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged by the election of Donald Trump, a president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race. From Charlottesville to the policies of child separation at the border, his administration turned its back on the promise of Obama's presidency and refused to embrace a vision of the country shorn of the insidious belief that white people matter more than others.  

We have been here before: For James Baldwin, these after times came in the wake of the civil rights movement, when a similar attempt to compel a national confrontation with the truth was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these years, spanning from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair.

In the story of Baldwin's crucible, Glaude suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography--drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews--with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude's endeavor, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

Reviews:

"In the midst of an ugly Trump regime and a beautiful Baldwin revival, Eddie Glaude has plunged to the profound depths and sublime heights of Baldwin's prophetic challenge to our present-day crisis."--Cornel West

"In the marrow of Eddie Glaude's Begin Again is a rugged literary miracle. In evocative prose, Glaude showed me how we might use the unexceptional yet brutal nightmare of Trumpism to not simply better understand the work and life of James Baldwin, but how that discovery must also lead us as people, not simply as a nation, to 'begin again' and walk collectively toward actual liberation." --Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy

"Eddie Glaude is such a terrific writer. In Begin Again, as he wrestles with James Baldwin's work and fraught relationship to the United States, Glaude's work is urgent, pained, and strangely hopeful. He is issuing a call to reckoning: not just with the dishonesty of America's founding promises, but with the tolls that its intrinsic racism has taken on the artists and thinkers who have come before. Glaude reminds readers of the inescapability of struggle and of the responsibility of consciousness, making explicit how our history underpins our current political moment. It's a great book." --Rebecca Traister, author of and Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger

About the Author:

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Princeton University and author of Democracy in Black.