The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

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by James Baldwin
     
 

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A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It

Overview

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Speakers or headsets will have to be turned up to listen to Jesse L. Martin's low, slow reading of Baldwin's classic long essay on racism and African-American identity. Martin seeks to be respectful of Baldwin, but he ends up rendering the meaning and the force of his work relatively inert. Pausing in poorly selected places, placing emphasis where little should be placed, Martin does not convey the precision and anger of Baldwin's prose. Instead, Baldwin's book becomes Great Literature, to be intoned and honored, but not truly grasped. Readers with an interest in Baldwin's work will be far better served by reading his prose to themselves than having Martin read it to them. A Vintage paperback.(Apr.)

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From the Publisher
"Basically the finest essay I’ve ever read. . . . Baldwin refused to hold anyone’s hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you." --Ta-Nehisi Coates

"So eloquent in its passion and so scorching in its candor that it is bound to unsettle any reader." --The Atlantic

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804149723
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/17/2013
Series:
Vintage International
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
42,286
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Langston Hughes
"Baldwin uses words as if he uses waves, to flow and beat, advance and retreat, rise and take a bow and disappearing....a thought becomes poetry and the poetry illuminates the thought."
From the Publisher
"So eloquent in its passion and so scorching in its candor that it is bound to unsettle any reader."—The Atlantic

Meet the Author

The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
August 2, 1924
Date of Death:
December 1, 1987
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
St. Paul de Vence, France
Education:
DeWitt Clinton High School, New York City

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The Fire Next Time 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Baldwin offers powerful insight into the two major movements of his time: Christian and Nation of Islam movements. He sorts out each of their respective problems. I liked the book because Baldwin took a creative approach to make an important point. The rhetorical delivery was excellent. Definitely a keeper.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book ¿The Fire Next Time¿ is an intensely personal book and an important historical document. The main conflict of this book is James Baldwin controversial view of the Black Muslim moment. Also the statement about the reality of being black in America. To defend oneself against a fear is simply to insure that one will, one day, be conquered by it: fears must be faced. All I really remember is the pain, the unspeakable pain, it was as though I was yelling up to heaven and heaven would not hear me. What I liked about the book ¿The Fire Next Time¿ was how black people in America have been through a lot of things and they keep living. What I didn¿t like about the book was how white people used foul language towards the blacks. I would recommend this book. I would recommend this book because it shows good information about the blacks in America. If you like books about the blacks go on with there life you should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Every word, and every page of this book drives a new belief about the turth of racism and how it applies to both white and blacks. It's more of a paradox.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Fire Next Time is composed of two essays written by Baldwin. Each essay stresses that love is the only power strong enough to unite blacks and whites. The first essay is written to his nephew whose name happens to be James and the second essay appears to be something that Baldwin may have written in order to free his mind of Christian and racial burdens. In the second essay, Baldwin analyzes the effects of religious practices on seperating the races. This book is a must read. Each page will lead you into a deeper realm of 'self.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
James Baldwin wrote The Fire Next Time as an intensely personal experience of a specific period in American history. However, the clarity of thought and language translates to any age and any race. The Fire Next Time is an American classic on the order of Self-Reliance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Super lame
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book showed very important views of racism but it was extremely boring it had no story line it was like he was just talkin and talkin.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when i was like, 14 or 15,so I really didn't get much of what he was saying.I'm sure what he implied about bringing an end to racism will someday happen.