Radical America: C.L.R. James special issue

Published by Detroit Printing Co-op 1970

Radical America: C.L.R. James special issue

Radical America was a left wing magazine established by members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) based in Madison, Wisconsin. This special edition (vol IV, no 4) was the first attempt to anthologise James’s writings following the dissolution earlier that year of James’s Facing Reality group. With the exceptions of a few well known pieces, much of James’s writings were difficult to get hold of at this time, and this publication attempted to redress this state of affairs.

“When one looks back over the last twenty years to those men who are most far-sighted, who first began to tease out the muddle of ideology in our times, who were at the same time Marxist with a hard theoretical basis, & close students of society, humanists with a tremendous response to and understanding of human culture, Comrade James is one of the first one thinks of.” — E.P. Thompson

 

The Future in the Present (Selected Writings)

Published by Allison & Busby 1977

The Future in the Present (Selected Writings)

This was the first of a series of anthologies published during James’ lifetime by publishers Allison & Busby that looked to bring together the best of James’ writing and introduce him to a new audience. The Future in the Present collects some of James’ most well regarded essays including his early short story Triumph, his early polemic The Case for West-Indian Self-Government, the Civil Rights Movement predicting The Revolutionary Answer to the Negro Problem in the USA, and the essay our project takes its name from: Every Cook Can Govern.

Although out of print, these anthologies are worth seeking out as they encapsulate the breadth and depth of James’ political intellect, from the stories he wrote in his 20s through to his later writings written in his 70s an 80s.

“C.L.R. James has had an extraordinary life. Writer, cricketer, cricket-writer, Marxist politician, intellectual strategist of West Indian independence, Pan-Africanist . . . he has arguably had a greater influence on the underlying thinking of independence movements in the West Indies and Africa than any living man.” – Sunday Times

Spheres of Existence (Selected Writings)

Published by Allison & Busby 1980

Spheres of Existence (Selected Writings)

This was the second of a series of anthologies published during James’ lifetime by publishers Allison & Busby following The Future in the Present three years previously. Spheres of Existence collects more of James’ key essays including ‘The Making of the Caribbean People’, ‘Black Power’ and the tribute to his friend and cricketer ‘Learie Constantine’.

Although out of print, these anthologies are worth seeking out as they encapsulate the breadth and depth of James’ political intellect, from the stories he wrote in his 20s through to his later writings written in his 70s an 80s.

“For anyone who wishes to understand Westindian history, Westindian society and the Westindian’s view of the world this selection is incomparable.”– Westindian World

“A valuable introduction to the work of a man who took part in the politics of the Caribbean, the United States, England and Africa whilst writing on much more, and becoming involved with personalities as different as Leon Trotsky, Jomo Kenyatta, Neville Cardus and Kwame Nkrumah . . . a remarkable range of material.” — West Africa

At the Rendezvous of Victory (Selected Writings)

Published by Allison & Busby 1984

At the Rendezvous of Victory (Selected Writings)

This was the third and final in a series of anthologies published during James’ lifetime by publishers Allison & Busby following The Future in the Present in 1977 and Spheres of Existence in 1980.

Although out of print, these anthologies are worth seeking out as they encapsulate the breadth and depth of James’ political intellect, from the stories he wrote in his 20s through to his later writings written in his 70s an 80s.

80th Birthday Lectures

Edited by Margaret Busby and Darcus Howe. Published by Race Today 1984

80th Birthday Lectures

“A collection of transcripts, including the question and answer sessions which followed, of the three lectures given by C.L.R James on the occurrence of his eightieth birthday in 1981. He had been an active historian and left wing activist all his life and had had a considerable effect upon Caribbean politics. These lectures, then, might be thought of as swan song, for all that they were pertinent to the times in which he spoke.”

Christian Hogsbjerg: “In his Eightieth Birthday Lectures, organised by the Race Today Collective in 1981, James was challenged by a black nationalist for having ‘a blind spot about the racism of the white working class’. James responded, ‘it would be very strange if there wasn’t some racism in the white working class because in any society the ideas that are dominant in the ruling class will find a reflection in the elements of those who work. But while you can accuse me of having a blind spot in regard to the racism of the white working class, I would say you have a much blinder spot in regard to the progressive, revolutionary element of the British working class…that is a much more powerful element’.”

A Majestic Innings: Writings on Cricket

Edited by Anna Grimshaw. Initially published as Cricket by Allison & Busby 1986. Republished by Aurum Press Ltd 2006

A Majestic Innings: Writings on Cricket

“C. L. R. James is the author of what is universally agreed to be the best book ever written on cricket, Beyond a Boundary. James wrote about cricket throughout his life, and all his best articles, letters and occasional pieces are collected here, in the only other book he published on the game that defined his life.

“A Majestic Innings brings together appreciations of great cricketers from Bradman to Dexter to David Gower, letters to friends including Colin Cowdrey, John Arlott and V. S Naipaul, as well as trenchant observations on cricketing controversies like the Bodyline series and the D’Oliviera affair.

“And above all, from a man for whom cricket was not just a game but, unequivocally, an art form, James writes brilliantly and passionately about West Indies cricket – defining the greatness of Gary Sobers, the magisterial leadership of Sir Frank Worrell, and recognising the immense talent of a young Guyanian called Clive Lloyd.”

The C.L.R. James Reader

Edited by Anna Grimshaw. Published by Blackwell 1992

The C.L.R. James Reader

“Author of such classic works as Minty Alley, The Black Jacobins and Beyond a Boundary, C. L. R. James was one of the most significant writers of our times.

“In a life which reflected many of the distinctive features of the twentieth century (from his birth in Trinidad in 1901, to his death in Brixton, London, 1989), James made an outstanding contribution to debates on politics, history, art, literature and sport. His revolutionary vision has inspired social movements in the United States, Britain, Africa and the Caribbean. It remains central to any understanding of the modern world.

“Until now much of his work has remained inaccessible; but Anna Grimshaw brings together here both published and unpublished material to give us the essential C. L. R. James. Prepared in collaboration with James in his final year, this collection offers unique insight into the range and development of his life’s work.

“It includes a selection of early fiction, the complete text of the play The Black Jacobins…

The Nobbie Stories for Children and Adults

Edited by Anna Grimshaw. Published by The University of Nebraska Press 2006

The Nobbie Stories for Children and Adults

“After more than a decade in the United States, the Caribbean writer C. L. R. James ran afoul of McCarthyism in 1953 and was deported. In exile in London, he began to write stories in the form of letters to his four-year-old son “Nobbie,” who remained in the States. Through a distinctive, imaginary, and sometimes absurd cast of characters—Good Boongko, Bad boo-boo-loo, Moby Dick, and Nicholas the worker, among others—these stories explore questions of friendship, conflict, community, ethics, and power in humorous and often ingenious ways; they also stand as a moving testament to a father’s struggle to be a vivid presence in the life of his son despite separation and distance.

“Attesting to James’s remarkable gifts as a writer and his unusual talent for engaging wide and diverse audiences, these witty and poignant stories, published here for the first time, are not just for James aficionados. Each story is a delight in its own way, making the book irresistible for children and adults alike.”

Special Delivery: The Letters of C.L.R.James to Constance Webb

Edited by Anna Grimshaw. Published by Willey-Blackwell 1995

Special Delivery: The Letters of C.L.R.James to Constance Webb

“C.L.R. James’s correspondence with Constance Webb, the young American woman who eventually became his wife, began in 1939 and lasted for over a decade. Passionate, erudite and highly personal, the letters are simultaneously a record of an intense romantic relationship and a profound meditation on American civilization. Something powerful was unlocked by James’s experience of America and his relationship with Constance, and he sought to articulate it through his attempt to bridge the gap of background, race, gender and age between Constance and himself. Already celebrated in their unpublished form, these letters form one of the major resources in James’s life and thought during his American period. The film “Special Delivery” is based on these letters.”

“C.L.R. James, is an extraordinary 20th century figure. An author, historian, reporter on the sport of cricket, Africanist, Marxist, black intellectual, and friend of many of the leading left radicals of the day. His history of the Haitian slave revolution, The Black Jacobins, is a masterpiece of humanity and empathy. James spent 15 years living in the United States from 1938, and there he fell in love with an 18-year-old Southern white girl, Constance Webb. It was an amazing ill-match; she really was not too…

Marxism for Our Times: C.L.R. James on Revolutionary Organization

Edited by Martin Glaberman. Published by University Press of Mississippi 1999

Marxism for Our Times: C.L.R. James on Revolutionary Organization

“Rarely as in the collection here can one encounter an essayist, novelist, historian, and political leader like the late C. L. R. James in the working throes of forming and then fomenting personal political theory. In “Marxism for Our Times,” editor Martin Glaberman has gathered the writings and theoretical discussions of this noted Caribbean writer. These pamphlets, mimeographs, letters, and lectures by James were nearly inaccessible until now. Within these works, James works to situate himself within the classical Marxist tradition while rejecting the Vanguard Party as unsuitable for our times. The writings in this collection begin in the 1940s, when Marxists were wrestling with acts that many deemed betrayals of the revolution, Stalin’s pact with Hitler and the war in Europe. They end in the late sixties just before the dissolution of “Facing Reality,” the final form of the American Marxist organization founded on James’s principles. For many years James, born in Trinidad and Tobago, was leader of the Trotskyists in the United States. He continued his work even after his exile…

You Don’t Play With Revolution: The Montréal Lectures of C.L.R. James

Edited by David Austin. Published by AK Press 2009

You Don’t Play With Revolution: The Montréal Lectures of C.L.R. James

“Revolution is a serious business, and C.L.R. James knew more than most. Our brand-new collection presents eight never-before-published lectures by the celebrated Marxist cultural critic, delivered during his stay in Montreal in 1967 and 1968. Ranging in topic from Marx and Lenin to Shakespeare and Rousseau to Caribbean history and the Haitian Revolution, these lectures demonstrate the staggering breadth and clarity of James’ knowledge and interest.

“Strikingly little information exists today about the period of time James spent working with West Indian intellectuals and students in Canada in the late 1960s, but the research of editor David Austin demonstrates the critical role these encounters played in the development of James’ more mature critical theory. Readers just beginning to delve into James work will find this collection accessible and engaging, an ideal introduction to a complex and multi-faceted body of scholarship. Also included are two seminal interviews produced with James during his stay in Canada, selected correspondence from the time period, and an appendix of essays on James’ work, which includes the seminal Marty Glaberman essay, “C.L.R. James: The Man and His Work.”.

C. L. R. James and Revolutionary Marxism: Selected Writings of C. L. R. James, 1939-1949

Edited by Scott McLemee, Paul Le Blanc. Published by Humanity Books 1993

C. L. R. James and Revolutionary Marxism: Selected Writings of C. L. R. James, 1939-1949

“This book presents articles by James on Trotsky’s life and work (unavailable in other collections), on the work of Edmund Wilson and Richard Wright, on the impact of European colonialism in Africa, on the interrelationship between U.S. and international labour history, and on African American history. Substantial essays by the editors and Paul Buhle, John Bracey, Martin Glabeman, and Charles van Gelderen contextualise James’ own essays.”

C. L. R. James On The ‘Negro Question’

Edited by Scott McLemee. Published by the University Press of Mississippi 1996

C. L. R. James On The ‘Negro Question’

From the Preface: “Between The Black Jacobins (1938) and Beyond a Boundary (1963), a shadow falls. These books have been established—through an informal yet powerful consensus—as the landmark works of C. L R. James’ career. The Black Jacobins recounts “the only successful slave revolt in history,” the San Domingo uprising. Beyond a Boundary almost defies categorization: it is an autobiographical, sociological, and historical meditation on the fine art of cricket, particularly as that game is played in the West Indies. (It is a book about cricket in much the same way Moby Dick is “about” deep-sea fishing.) These are luminous books, artful works of narrative prose, from the pen of an author unusually sensitive to the interaction between historical processes and the historian’s craft. Had C. L R. James written nothing else, these pioneering studies Of African-diasporic political and cultural analysis would secure his reputation.

“…among James’s interim writings there are a number of documents which, once rescued from oblivion, still seem interesting and alive. Such is the ease, I think, with the texts collected here: fragments of his effort to work out a Marxist analysis of African-American life…