C.L.R. James and the Study of Culture

Written by Andrew Smith. Published by Palgrave Macmillan 2010

C.L.R. James and the Study of Culture

“In this welcome book Andrew Smith provides a holistic approach to understanding CLR James, one that links his sports and cultural commentary succinctly and successfully with his broader ideological and intellectual agendas. Smith raises the understanding of James to a new level and allows for a more insightful application of the Jamesian ideas to all areas of contemporary cultural analysis” Professor Brian Stoddart.

Alongside his many pioneering historical and political interventions, James was a penetrating commentator on cultural matters, writing with flair and insight about a vast range of topics from Shakespeare to Joe Louis, calypso to Herman Melville, Jackson Pollock to Greek tragedy.

This book provides the first full-length study of this aspect of James’s work. Written in a lively, accessible style, it draws out the central -and often provocative- claims of his cultural analysis, and places these in their historical and political context, arguing that James should be considered key reading for anyone interested in making sense of contemporary culture and its

C.L.R. James in Imperial Britain

Written by Christian Høgsbjerg. Published as part of the C.L.R. James Archives series by Duke University Press.

C.L.R. James in Imperial Britain

C. L. R. James in Imperial Britain chronicles the life and work of the Trinidadian intellectual and writer C. L. R. James during his first extended stay in Britain, from 1932 to 1938. It reveals the radicalizing effect of this critical period on James’s intellectual and political trajectory. During this time, James turned from liberal humanism to revolutionary socialism. Rejecting the “imperial Britishness” he had absorbed growing up in a crown colony in the British West Indies, he became a leading anti-colonial activist and Pan-Africanist thinker. Christian Høgsbjerg reconstructs the circumstances and milieus in which James wrote works including his magisterial study The Black Jacobins. First published in 1938, James’s examination of the dynamics of anticolonial revolution in Haiti continues to influence scholarship on Atlantic slavery and abolition. Høgsbjerg contends that during the Depression C. L. R. James advanced public understanding of the African diaspora and emerged as one of the most significant and creative revolutionary Marxists in Britain.

Reviews:

”One of the most impressively researched biographies of a prominent radical

Urbane Revolutionary: C. L. R . James and the Struggle for a New Society

Written by Frank Rosengarten. Published by The University Press of Mississippi 2008

Urbane Revolutionary: C. L. R . James and the Struggle for a New Society

In Urbane Revolutionary: C. L. R. James and the Struggle for a New Society, Frank Rosengarten traces the intellectual and political development of C. L. R. James (1901-1989), one of the most significant Caribbean intellectuals of the twentieth century. In his political and philosophical commentary, his histories, drama, letters, memoir, and fiction, James broke new ground dealing with the fundamental issues of his age-colonialism and postcolonialism, Soviet socialism and western neo-liberal capitalism, and the uses of race, class, and gender as tools for analysis.

The author examines in depth three facets of James’s work: his interpretation and use of Marxist, Trotskyist, and Leninist concepts; his approach to Caribbean and African struggles for independence in the 1950s and 1960s; and his branching into prose fiction, drama, and literary criticism. Rosengarten analyzes James’s previously underexplored relationships with women and with the women’s liberation movement. The study also scrutinizes James’s methods of research and writing.

Rosengarten explores James’s provocative and influential concepts regarding black liberation in the Caribbean, Africa, the United States, and Great Britain and James’s varying responses to revolutionary movements. With its extensive use of

C.L.R. James: His Life and Work

Edited by Paul Buhle. Published by Alison & Busby 1986

C.L.R. James: His Life and Work

“CLR James: His Life and Work, is the first full length study of his multi-faceted life and international influence. Edited by Paul Buhle, it provides an invaluable perspective on the rich diversity of James’s work, assessed in articles, memoirs, interviews and reviews by a wide range of well-respected contributors such as Walter Rodney, Manning Marable, Robert Hill, Sylvia Wynter, Darcus Howe, Wilson Harris, Vincent Harding, and many others. Completed by a bibliography of CLR James’s major writings, this book makes a significant achievement in encompassing the unique importance of CLR James.”

CLR James: His Life and Work was originally published as a special edition of the journal Urgent Tasks (Number 12, 1981), this was then republished as a book in 1986.It marks one of the final works about CLR James published in his lifetime. Its contributors number some of James’ closest comrades, such as Martin Glaberman, Walter Rodney, Grace Lee Boggs, Constance Webb and Robert A. Hill.

Quote:

“What an extraordinary man he is! It is not a question of whether one agrees

C.L.R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary

Written by Paul Buhle. Published by Verso 1988

C.L.R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary

“CLR James is one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable individuals. As the author of the influential book The Black Jacobins, he is widely recognised as the premier author of slave revolt; the publication of his acute and sensitive volume Beyond a Boundary established an equal reputation as a historian of sport; and his tireless political and intellectual interventions have become the hallmark of a highly creative Marxist thinker, a brilliant dialectician and the last surviving pioneer of Pan-African liberation.

“James’s work has never previously been studied in its entirety. Now Paul Buhle, a long time editorial collaborator with James, has produced a rich and informed analysis of his accomplishments. Drawing upon extensive interviews with James, his critics and his erstwhile supporters, together with many previously unpublished documents, Buhle’s book offers an appreciative and enlightening portrait of the man and his times. The author also sheds new light on subjects ranging across Pan-Africanism, West Indian literature, British and American Marxism and the rise of Third world nationalism.”

Paul Buhle is a retired lecturer at Brown University and biographer

Not Without Love: Memoirs

Written by Constance Webb. Published by University Press of New England 2003

Not Without Love: Memoirs

“In the middle of our tea drinking [Madeline] asked me if I was still seeing Mr. James. She did not approve of my friendship with a black man, but at the same time [she] a southerner, used the ‘Mr.’ out of respect for me. Yes, of course, I told her …. Then she looked at me and said, ‘Why?’ Whether I was being rebellious or answering without thought I have no idea, but I said, ‘Because I love him.’ To my absolute astonishment, Madeline said, well, it’s all right then.” – From the book.

Constance Webb has led a remarkably full life as a committed political activist, a fashion model and actress, a writer whose works include the first biography of her friend Richard Wright, and the wife and confidante of one of the foremost intellectuals of the twentieth century, CLR James.

Raised in Fresno, California, Webb became an ardent Trotskyite while still a teenager. After moving to Los Angeles, she remained politically active and met James on his first US tour when he visited the city to speak. He fell in love instantly with

Beyond Boundaries: C.L.R. James and Postnational Studies

Edited by Christopher Gair. Published by Pluto Press 2006

Beyond Boundaries: C.L.R. James and Postnational Studies

“This book brings together leading critics to explore the work of CLR James, the world famous Caribbean intellectual. It’s an exciting and innovative examination of the wide impact that James has had on contemporary thought as a historian, novelist, cultural and political theorist, cricket writer and activist. The contributors reinvigorate James’s inspiring critical output, with particular reference to the influence that he has had on cultural studies.”

Dr Chris Gair is a senior lecturer in American Literature at the University of Glasgow, School of Critical Studies.

Contents:

1. C.L.R. James, Genre and Cultural Politics by Nicole King
2. ‘Summer of Hummer': C.L.R. James, American Civilization, and the (Necro)Political Crisis by Eric Porter
3. C.L.R. James, Moby-Dick, and the Emergence of Transnational American Studies by Donald E. Pease
4. Beyond Boundaries: Cricket, Herman Melville, and C.L.R. James’s Cold War …

Caliban’s Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C.L.R. James

Written by Anthony Bogues. Published by Pluto Press 1997

Caliban’s Freedom: The Early Political Thought of C.L.R. James

“C.L.R. James (1901-1989) is one of the few political thinkers whose ideas have made a genuinely significant contribution to the development of emancipatory ideas in the twentieth century. In this volume, Anthony Bogues examines the origins of the relationship between the black radical tradition and James’s own view of Marxism. Integrating these two political currents provided the basis for a profound critique that became the hallmark of James’s life’s work. This study is the first to excavate the elements of a Jamesian political philosophy.

“Anthony Bogues traces the main features of James’s early political thought, up to his deportation from the United States in the early 1950s, arguing that his work represents a major attempt in the immediate postwar period to establish new frontiers in Marxism and radical political thought in general. This illuminating and scholarly study reinforces James’s position as a political theorist of major standing.”

‘A fine study on the early intellectual development of James.’ –Research in African Literatures  ‘A very strong book, thoroughly researched and brilliantly argued. Not Surprisingly, the result is that Bogues has produced the best work to date on the early political

C. L. R. James′s Caribbean

Edited by Paget Henry and Paul Buhle. Published by Duke University Press 1992

C. L. R. James′s Caribbean

“Drawing upon James’s observations of his own life as revealed to interviewers and close friends, this volume provides an examination of James’s childhood and early years as colonial literature and his massive contribution to West Indian political-cultural understanding. Moving beyond previous biographical interpretations, the contributors here take up the problem of reading James’s texts in light of poststructuralist criticism, the implications of his texts for Marxist discourse, and for problems of Caribbean development.”

Reviews:

“These penetrating studies throw much-needed light both on C. L. R. James and the Caribbean worlds about which he cared so much. . . . Required reading for all who would like to understand James’s varied work.”–David Barry Gaspar, author of Bondmen and Rebels

“This volume is a provocative and powerful introduction to the political and literary writings of C. L. R. James, one of the twentieth century’s greatest…

CLR James: A Political Biography

Written by Kent Worcester. Published by State University of New York Press 1996

CLR James: A Political Biography

“This biography is an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to understand the extraordinary life and work of CLR James. It is thoroughly researched, based on primary sources as well as a very wide range of secondary materials, and is a careful, subtle reading of James’ prolific writings. It provides an accessible entry to the many worlds enriched by James: Marxist theory and practice, Caribbean and African politics, Western literature, popular culture, cricket and world revolution.” – Bridget Brereton, the University of the West Indies

“CLR James was one of the twentieth century’s most significant radical intellectuals. Kent Worcester’s excellent biography provides an extraordinary analysis of James’ creative mind and political imagination. Worcester ‘s work is the single best study of James currently available.” – Manning Marable, Columbia University

“Kent Worcester has managed to do something that very few people who write about political theory have done. He has provided an eminently readable biography but has also given James his full due as a political, social and literary theorist. This is a remarkable …

CLR James: Cricket’s Philosopher King

Written by Dave Renton. Published by Haus Books 2007

CLR James: Cricket’s Philosopher King

“Known as ‘The Cricketing Marxist’, Cyril Lionel Robert James (1901-89) was one of the leading black intellectuals of the 20th century, a Marxist theorist of the first rank, and also one of the finest writers on cricket, with his legendary book Beyond a Boundary.

“This seeming paradox is reflected in other areas of his life and work: the product of a British style education and fanatical cricketer who never abandoned the values the sport inculcated in him, he was a Trotskyite expelled from the USA during the McCarthy era and a friend and inspiration to a generation of leaders of newly-independent African countries such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Julius Nyrere of Tanzania. Described in his lifetime as ‘the black Hegel’ and ‘the black Plato’, his book on the 18th century slave revolt in Haiti, The Black Jacobins, is one of the great historical works of the 20th century, yet he was never comfortable with the idea of ‘Black Studies’. In this fascinating new study of this seminal thinker, Dave Renton hopes to “persuade Marxists of the joys of cricket, and followers of cricket of the calibre of James and of James’

C.L.R. James: Cricket, The Caribbean and World Revolution

Written by Farrukh Dhondy. Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2001

C.L.R. James: Cricket, The Caribbean and World Revolution

In this short biography / collection of reminiscences Dhondy draws on his friendship with CLR James, which began when James was already an old man and continued until his death at the age of 89. He assesses the contribution James made to modern political thinking and to the growth of Black consciousness. He celebrates his love of cricket and shows how the concepts of fair play and gamesmanship could and did become the abiding principles of a Black colonial revolutionary.

From Kenan Malik’s review of the book: “Dhondy has little understanding of, and even less sympathy for, James’ Marxism. In his eyes, the thirties and forties are a blur of factionalism, splits and hopeless fantasies. Certainly, much of what James wrote in these years, in works such as World Revolution and Notes on Dialectics, reek of naivety and romantic illusions, and Dhondy’s disdain for James’ rhetoric might be the understandable view of a disillusioned radical looking back at the wreckage of twentieth century communism. Such disdain, however, does not make for illuminating biography.

“There is little sense in Dhondy’s account of the political and intellectual ferment of the 1930s and 40s that formed the backdrop to James’ work. If James’ belief