Modern Politics

Port of Spain: printed by the P. N. M. Publishing Company, 1960

The jacket cover of the PM Press 2013 edition with an introduction by Noel Ignatiev sums this volume up well.

“Marxists envisage a total change in the basic structure of human relations. With that change our problems will not be solved overnight, but we will be able to tackle them with confidence. Such are the difficulties, contradictions, and antagonisms; and in the solution of them society moves forward and men and women feel they have a role in the development of their social surroundings. It is in this movement that we have the possibility of a good life.” – CLR James, from Modern Politics

This volume provides a brilliant and accessible summation of the ideas of left Marxist giant CLR James. Originally delivered in 1960 as a series of lectures in his native Trinidad, these writings powerfully display his wide ranging erudition and enduring relevance. From his analysis of revolutionary history (from the Athenian City States through the English Revolution, Russian Revolution and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956), to the role of culture in society (from Chaplin to Picasso, via Camus and Eisenstein) to an interrogation of the ideas and philosophy of such thinkers as Rousseau, Lenin and Trotsky, this is a magnificent tour de force from a critically engaged thinker at the height of his powers. An essential introduction to a body of work as necessary and illuminating for this century as it proved for the last.

“CLR James… has a special place in the history of Third world revolutionary movements… He combines Caribbean nationalism, Black radicalism, a once Trotskyist blend of revolutionary anti-imperialism, and the European classic tradition in an individual and potent mix… A mine of richness and variety” – Times Educational Supplement

“CLR James has had an extraordinary life. Write, cricketer, cricket writer, Marxist, politician, intellectual strategist of West Indian independence, Pan-Africanism… 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 (London)

The book is available to purchase here.