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The Fire Next Time Audiobook

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

4.7 (296 )
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4.8 (245 )
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Story
4.7 (247 )
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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 2015
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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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ellzee Manhattan 07-14-15
    ellzee Manhattan 07-14-15
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    "Powerful"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 09-17-15
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 09-17-15

    But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^

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    "Sad and moving and powerful and beautiful"

    If we -- an now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on, or create, the consciousness of the others-- do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world. If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophesy, re-created from the Bible in a song by a slave, is upon us:

    "God gave Noah the rainbow sign,
    No more water, the fire next time!"

    - James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

    I just couldn't watch the second GOP debates tonight. I knew I couldn't face the Donald and his band of equally exquisite misfits. I'm not exactly in love with the Democrats either, but the GOP clown car is just too long, too tiring, too damn depressing. So I turned my TV off, tuned out, and read me some James Baldwin.

    You could say Ta-Nehisi Coates brought me here (after reading Between the World and Me). Or perhaps, it has been these last couple years of official violence directed at the poor and the black in many of our biggest cities (St Louis, Baltimore, Las Angeles, New York). Or perhaps, I could also say that Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain also brought me here. Perhaps, it was reading the Old Testament with my own teenage children that pushed me in this direction. Or perhaps, even the promise of the New Testament. Maybe, it was my despair over the way that 14-year-old Muslim boy was treated with his homemade clock. I needed tonight a poetic healing and a spiritual justice. An Old Testament warning with a New Testament salve and a black rhythm. I needed James Baldwin's force, his poetry, his humanist hope, his infinitely quotable words. God, his prose is poetic. I literally ran out of post-it notes as I read this 106 page thesis, laid at the feet of his namesake nephew.

    God this book was beginning to end sad and moving and powerful and beautiful; and so now writing this and glancing at the highlights (lowlights) of the GOP debates, I can securely say, I made the right damn choice tonight.

    30 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry 10-12-15
    sherry 10-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "excellent narration of a long honored book"
    What made the experience of listening to The Fire Next Time the most enjoyable?

    had not read this book since high school. The narration was exceptional.


    What did you like best about this story?

    everything.


    Which character – as performed by Jesse L. Martin – was your favorite?

    N/A


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It has been 35 years since high school. Hearing this book again, reminded me that I had made very good choices such as loving myself, my color and always seeing myself as beautiful. Those choices gave me the courage to follow my dreams such as studying oceanography and engineering as well as embracing Islam.


    Any additional comments?

    "The Fire Next Time", could have been written today, very little has changed politically and economically for most African Americans. The methods of racism has changed to include drug infestation and mass incarceration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Krenz 08-11-15
    Gary Krenz 08-11-15
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    "A Must-Read"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phatgirl Longmeadow, MA 01-08-13
    Phatgirl Longmeadow, MA 01-08-13 Member Since 2012
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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.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-27-15 Member Since 2013
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    "The Truth be Told"

    People only pretend to not understand why racism still exist, because they benefit from it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vernon JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY, United States 01-04-15
    Vernon JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY, United States 01-04-15 Member Since 2015

    Vernon

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    "Impressive"

    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...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Warren Lanphear 01-28-16
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    "Lecture"

    excellent reader, one long lecture, truth hurts, black pain. worth hearing once, 1962 America gone?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jameelah Jones 10-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "loved it"

    if you could only read one boom, read this one. great book. worth an engaging author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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