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The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America

The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America


The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America

valutazioni:
5/5 (25 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
14 ore
Pubblicato:
Oct 1, 2019
ISBN:
9780691199115
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

How the clash between the civil rights firebrand and the father of modern conservatism continues to illuminate America's racial divide

On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to witness a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America's most influential conservative intellectual. The topic was "the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro", and no one who has seen the debate can soon forget it. Nicholas Buccola's The Fire Is upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, the controversies that followed, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate America's racial divide today.

Born in New York City only 15 months apart, the Harlem-raised Baldwin and the privileged Buckley could not have been more different, but they both rose to the height of American intellectual life during the civil rights movement. By the time they met in Cambridge, Buckley was determined to sound the alarm about a man he considered an "eloquent menace." For his part, Baldwin viewed Buckley as a deluded reactionary whose popularity revealed the sickness of the American soul. The stage was set for an epic confrontation that pitted Baldwin's call for a moral revolution in race relations against Buckley's unabashed elitism and implicit commitment to white supremacy.

A remarkable story of race and the American dream, The Fire Is upon Us reveals the deep roots and lasting legacy of a conflict that continues to haunt our politics.

Pubblicato:
Oct 1, 2019
ISBN:
9780691199115
Formato:
Audiolibro

Disponibile anche come...

Disponibile anche come libroLibro

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4.9
25 valutazioni / 4 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Superb. Astonishing and saddening that since the 1960s we really have not come very far. The fire still burns
  • (5/5)
    One of the most consequential books on the intellectual debate over race in America and the West. Outstanding to hear Baldwin and Buckley in their own words debating the merits of their world views.

    Though my personal views align with Baldwin, it is insightful to understand the views and morals that shaped Buckley.
  • (5/5)
    Assuming you’re broadly interested in the subject matter, this is a great book. “The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate Over Race in America” is almost like a triple biography. One for Baldwin, one for Buckley, and another one of the times themselves (the debate was in 1965). It is an engaging work of political history that explores the civil rights movement through two highly influential people, with their formal debate being a small part of the actual work.

    Buccola’s book is informative, interesting and highly relevant to today. It was both thought-provoking (and saddening?) to see so many issues unchanged after 50 years. For example, does one measure love of one’s country through gratitude or critique? How are police used to oppress protest? What are rights of the states vs the federal government? Many of these debates are unchanged because they are irreducibly complex or have validity on both sides.

    The book easily demonstrates that Buckley was racist, but it is also highlights that racism comes in many forms. Based on the book, it seems that Buckley believed that Black Americans were not genetically inferior but culturally inferior, so it was the duty of the white race to guide them until they were more developed. Racist for sure, but if that is someone’s position, you’d likely need different arguments to address it than if they thought Blacks were genetically inferior.

    Baldwin advocated for an understanding of someone’s worldview, even if he thought it wrong and harmful. Additionally, despite being more of an atheist, he was often concerned for something like the soul of those who were harming Blacks. As if the injustice harmed both victim and perpetrator.

    Finally, in a time where is it so easy to watch debates on the internet, the fact that a recording of this debate almost didn’t exist, despite being filmed by the BBC and recorded by the university, is a useful reminder of how things used to be different. History recorded through the interpretations of others is very different than having the literal recording.

    Recommended.
  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Quite simply one of the best books I have listened to in recent memory - sadly all too germane to events continuing to unfold before us today. The author leans somewhat toward Baldwin’s perspective (as I do); however, he gives Buckley his due. I spent this past weekend listening as the events surrounding George Floyd, Breona Taylor, etc. spooled out in news. Sadly, Baldwin’s observations continue to resonate today as much as over 40 years ago and deserve continued study. Very well worth the time.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile