Spheres of Existence (Selected Writings)

Published by Allison & Busby 1980

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

An immensely stimulating book. James has long been one of the most influential West Indian writers, but it remains remarkable how far ahead of his time he was on so many issues . . . An indispensable book.” — New Society

“C.L.R. James . . . has a special place in the history of Third World revolutionary movements . . . he combines Caribbean nationalism, Black radicalism, a once Trotskyist blend of anti-imperialism, and the European classic tradition in a potent mix . . . A mine of richness and variety.” — The Times Educational Supplement

“C.L.R. James is one of those rare individuals whom history proves right.” — Race Today


Biographical Introduction
La Divina Pastora
Turner’s Prosperity
“After Hitler, Our Turn”
The Philosophy of History and Necessity: Few Words with Professor Hook After Ten Years
Dialectical Materialism and the Fate of Humanity
Two Young American Writers Marxism and the Intellectuals
The West Indian Middle Classes P8 “Othello” and “The Merchant of Venice~” Parties, Politics and Economics in the Caribbean
On Wilson Harris
The Making of the Caribbean People Peasants and Workers
Black Power
Discovering Literature in Trinidad: the Nineteen-Thirties
Learie Constantine
Paul Robeson: Black Star