The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader

The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader

by William Jelani Cobb
     
 
In 1967, as the movement for civil rights was turning into a bitter, often violent battle for black power, Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual burst onto the scene. It was a lacerating attack on integration, and set the agenda for black cultural, social, and political autonomy. A classic of African American social thought, the book and its author went

Overview

In 1967, as the movement for civil rights was turning into a bitter, often violent battle for black power, Harold Cruse's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual burst onto the scene. It was a lacerating attack on integration, and set the agenda for black cultural, social, and political autonomy. A classic of African American social thought, the book and its author went on to influence generations of activists, artists, and scholars. Cruse's intelligence, independence, and breadth of vision virtually defined what it meant to be a black intellectual in modern America. Here is a powerful introduction to Cruse's wide body of work. This first anthology of Cruse's writing includes published material such as excerpts from Crisis, as well as unpublished essays, speeches, and correspondence. The Essential Harold Cruse is certain to become standard reading for anyone interested in race in American society.

Author Biography: William Jelani Cobb received his doctorate in American history from Rutgers University. He contributes regularly to the Washington Post and Africana.com.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harold Cruse is best known for 1967's The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, an influential call for black autonomy, warning against integration as a strategy. Edited by regular Washington Post contributor William Jelani Cobb, The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader includes essays from the early 1960s on race, bohemianism, James Baldwin and Cuba; three chapters of Crisis, three from Rebellion or Revolution (1968) and further essays and speeches from the Black Power era; one chapter from Plural but Equal (1987) and a selection of other post-Black Power writings that address theater and music. The introduction by cultural critic Stanley Crouch is useful, but a more complete and analytical intellectual biography is still wanted. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Editor Cobb (visiting assistant professor, history, Spelman Coll.) here offers essential reading for anyone interested in black politics and culture. Cruse is known mostly for his classic text, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual, and his anti-integrationist and black nationalist views. His writings are respectful of some of America's greatest thinkers and cultural workers, e.g., James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, and W.E.B. DuBois, but he doesn't hold back when eloquently disputing their ideas and actions. Cruse brings his critical analysis to bear on issues like black leadership and aesthetics, the interrelationship of politics and culture, civil disobedience, capitalism, the establishment of a black independent political party, and the realities of American culture topics still worthy of debate today. The reader is arranged thematically and chronologically, from Cruse's years in the Communist Party and as a playwright in Greenwich Village (1951-63) to the publication of Plural but Equal. A 1997 interview with Cruse closes the collection. Cruse's legacy is awe-inspiring, and this new work is highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Sherri Barnes, Univ. of California Lib., Santa Barbara Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher

“The anthology of Harold Cruse's work is essential reading for anyone interested in American letters.” —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Yo' Mama's DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America

“I enthusiastically applaud the publication of The Essential Harold Cruse...Where Malcolm X was the intellectual inspiration of Black Power and Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Turé) was its principal ideological architect, Cruse was without question its definitive critical interlocutor.” —Adolph Reed, Jr., New School University

“Eloquent, passionate, forceful -- Harold Cruse has had an electrifying impact on an entire generation of African American intellectuals.” —Gerald Home, author of Race Woman

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312293970
Publisher:
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date:
02/01/2002
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
310
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.07(d)

Meet the Author

William Jelani Cobb's writings appear regularly in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and Africana.com. He received his Ph.D. in American History from Rutgers University. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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