©1962 James Baldwin; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Baldwin's writing is stunning, his calling of white America to task razor-like, and his humanity profound. As important as ever to understanding America, if not even more so today than when written, these essays are masterpieces of critical analysis, controlled anger, complex emotional understanding, and compassion. Jesse Martin's narration is excellent.
Member since 2001, and they said it wouldn't last!
I believe we are achieving what he envisioned. I certainly hope we are. Sure wish he were alive today.
Really interesting look into a great civil rights era mind and into a painful time (though many themes are still relevant today). Beautifully written and the performance is equally so.
This was an excellent piece. Baldwin is such a fine writer, however, that I have no doubt it would be a still more powerful work, if read.
To find James Baldwin's work on audio is great. Story line was interesting and narrator even better. Always more history to be learned. Thanks...
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.
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.
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