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The Fire Next Time | [James Baldwin]

The Fire Next Time

At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with this eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our literature.
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Publisher's Summary

At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil-rights movement with this eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our literature.

©1962 James Baldwin; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What the Critics Say

"Searing...brilliant...masterful." (The New York Times)
"One of the few genuinely indispensable American writers." (Saturday Review
"Anguished...stabbing...a final plea and warning...to end the racial nightmare." (Newsweek)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (87 )
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4.6 (57 )
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Story
4.7 (58 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Wigfall NYC, NY 02-25-10
    J. Wigfall NYC, NY 02-25-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Still as bold as ever"

    Written almost 50 years ago during the Civil Rights era, these two works (a letter and an essay) give the 21st Century listener a solid no-holds barred picture of a black man's life as lived in apartheid America.

    At the very least, Baldwin's writing must be commended for its bold directness, its brutal honesty, its elegant articulation and its timely significance. This was worth listening to and I enjoyed Jesse Martin's persuasive narration.

    A solid listening treat for Baldwin lovers.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phatgirl Longmeadow, MA 01-08-13
    Phatgirl Longmeadow, MA 01-08-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "A Classic Analysis of Race & American Culture"
    Where does The Fire Next Time rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is in the top 25% of audiobooks I've listened to, partially because race and ethnicity in America is a special interest of mine.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's not really a story, more an analysis of American culture and race relations in the 1960s. Baldwin is clever, witty and entertaining even listening to him now, over 40 years later.


    Have you listened to any of Jesse L. Martin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't pay much attention to the person reading. I focus more on the text itself, but I thought this was a good reading.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    It's interesting that a lot of the problems that faced black Americans in the 1960s still face black America today. There has been a lot of progress, but race is still a significant cultural force in America today.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gare Washington, DC, USA 04-13-08
    Gare Washington, DC, USA 04-13-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
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    "Personal, dated, with sparks"

    A window into the impacts of legalized, socially normative painful injustice on a brilliant writer. It is often embarrassing for these Obama generation black intellectual ears. Less redolent in the US, but current, or even forward looking in many states...Brazil comes to mind.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Chicago, IL, United States 12-23-10
    Andy Chicago, IL, United States 12-23-10 Member Since 2005
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    "SLOW"

    The book starts off interesting, and quickly turns into your senile grandfather complaining about his grudges from 1960, until everyone starts giving reasons to leave the room.

    1 of 12 people found this review helpful
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