• Nothing Personal

  • By: James Baldwin
  • Narrated by: JD Jackson
  • Length: 1 hr and 10 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

James Baldwin’s critique of American society at the height of the civil rights movement brings his prescient thoughts on social isolation, race, and police brutality to a new generation of listeners.

Available for the first time in a stand-alone edition, Nothing Personal is Baldwin’s deep probe into the American condition. Considering the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 - which were met with tear gas and rubber bullets the same year white supremacists entered the US Capitol with little resistance, openly toting flags of the Confederacy - Baldwin’s documentation of his own troubled times cuts to the core of where we find ourselves today.

Baldwin’s thoughts move through an interconnected range of questions, from America’s fixation on eternal youth, to its refusal to recognize the past, its addiction to consumerism, and the lovelessness that fuels it in its cities and popular culture. He recounts his own encounter with police in a scene disturbingly similar to those we see today documented with ever increasing immediacy. This edition also includes a new foreword from interdisciplinary scholar Imani Perry and an afterword from noted Baldwin scholar Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Both explore and situate the essay within the broader context of Baldwin’s work, the Movement for Black Lives, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the presidency of Donald Trump.

Nothing Personal is both a eulogy and a declaration of will. In bringing this work into the 21st century, listeners new and old will take away fundamental and recurring truths about life in the US. It is both a call to action, and an appeal to love and to life.

©1964, 2021 James Baldwin (P)2021 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Listeners will enter Baldwin’s mind as they enjoy JD Jackson’s well-paced and probing narration.” (AudioFile Magazine)

“In this short, stunning work, with his inimitable use of language, Baldwin distills the essence of his pain and wisdom and points a way for our own time.” (New York Journal of Books)

“James Baldwin’s Nothing Personal has to be read more than twice, the spare sentences, the far less than spare thoughts and beliefs aren’t absorbed like a Brawny towel absorbs a spill.” (Portland Book Review)

What listeners say about Nothing Personal

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  • Overall
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Must read for those who seek to understand a ....

A Good book, with insightful awareness of mans plight with himself and being a human that has not learn to live with his own emotional being.

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Transcendent analysis on Capitalism and Race

James Baldwin shows America has hope despite the rot that persists in our society

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Love

Love yourself and your family then Love your neighbors. Very inspiring. Highly recommend this book.

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Perfect

As always Baldwin is amazing and insightful and terrifying. In this short work more can be found about the human mind of one wants to know it and that is Baldwin's point. We have to want it.

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clarity

baldwin illustrates again the problem in the American psyche, for all with eyes to see

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Baldwin’s Finger is always on the pulse of America

I would highly recommend this reading...although I would recommend all of Baldwin’s work. He gives words and context to the experience of being. I would say as a Black person...but really as all persons. This essay just further allows one to put words to the fleeting or non fleeting despair we often feel in the World we live and at the same time find comfort in that despair.

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Love of Darkness and The Light

So emotionally moving and saddening at the same time. A must read by All Human