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The Life of Langston Hughes, 1941-1967: I Dream a World / Edition 2
     

The Life of Langston Hughes, 1941-1967: I Dream a World / Edition 2

5.0 2
by Arnold Rampersad
 

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ISBN-10: 0195146433

ISBN-13: 9780195146431

Pub. Date: 01/28/2002

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

February 1, 2002 marks the hundredth anniversary of Langston Hughes's birth. To commemorate this occasion, Arnold Rampersad has contributed new Afterwords to both volumes of his highly-praised biography of this most extraordinary American writer. In this second volume of his enormously acclaimed biography, Rampersad traces Hughes's life from the humiliations of

Overview

February 1, 2002 marks the hundredth anniversary of Langston Hughes's birth. To commemorate this occasion, Arnold Rampersad has contributed new Afterwords to both volumes of his highly-praised biography of this most extraordinary American writer. In this second volume of his enormously acclaimed biography, Rampersad traces Hughes's life from the humiliations of 1940-41, with his career in jeopardy, to his death in 1967, by which time he was revered not only as the dean of Afro-American writers but also as a world-renowned artist whose poems, plays, and stories had profoundly influenced writers in Africa, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. This volume shows Hughes re-examining his vision of art and radicalism during World War II, when he contributed steadily to the national war effort even as he relentlessly attacked segregation in his country. It recounts his surveillance by the FBI and his hounding by right-wing forces, including Senator Joe McCarthy, who eventually forced him to testify about his radical years.

Through all this period, Rampersad reveals, Hughes never lost sight of his greatest goal: to be an artist in words, committed to black life. His desire resulted in books of verse and fiction that reflected his love of jazz and the blues; in operas in which he collaborated with Kurt Weill, William Grant Still, and Jan Meyerowitz; in musical plays that first brought black gospel to the American stage; in a dozen books for children; and in programs for radio and television featuring stars such as Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier. His passion for life and literature brought him into fellowship -- and sometimes sharp conflict -- with a wide range of writers, including Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Amiri Baraka.

In his Afterword to this second volume, Rampersad details the fresh challenges he faced as a biographer covering Hughes's retreat from radicalism around 1941, and the sustained attacks on him during the McCarthy era. He charts Hughes's renewal of himself as a poet and writer with a deep commitment to African-Americans, and investigates the author's desire for harmony and justice for all peoples. In addition, Rampersad explores the controversial matter of Hughes's sexuality and the possibility that, despite a lack of clear evidence, Hughes was homosexual. Exhaustively researched in archival collections throughout the country, especially in the Langston Hughes papers at Yale University's Beinecke Library, and featuring fifty illustrations, this anniversary edition offers a new generation of readers entrance to the life and mind of one of the twentieth century's greatest artists.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195146431
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
01/28/2002
Edition description:
REV
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
677,376
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

Table of Contents

1.Still Here (1941)3
2.Jim Crow's Last Stand (1941 to 1943)32
3.Simple Speaks His Mind (1943 to 1944)61
4.Third Degree (1944 to 1945)88
5.Street Scene (1945 to 1947)108
6.Heart on the Wall (1947 to 1948)128
7.On Solid Ground (1948 to 1950)146
8.In Warm Manure (1951 to 1953)189
9.Out from Under (1953 to 1956)223
10.Making Hay (1957 to 1958)263
11.You Are the World (1958 to 1960)288
12.Ask Your Mama! (1960 to 1961)314
13.In Gospel Glory (1961 to 1963)341
14.Blues for Mister Backlash (1963 to 1965)364
15.Final Call (1965 to 1966)386
16.Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me (1966 to 1967)404
Afterword426
Abbreviations436
Notes437
Acknowledgments493
Index499

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The Life of Langston Hughes, 1941-1967: I Dream a World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We burried him high on the windy hill But his soul went out to sea I know,for i heard, when all was still His sea soul say to me: PUT NO TOMBSTONE AT MY HEAD FOR HERE I DO NOT MAKE MY BED STREW NO FLOWERS ON MY GRAVE I HAVE GONE OUT TO THE WIND AND WAVE DO NOT DO NOT WEEP FOR ME FOR I AM HAPPY WITH MY SEA (my personal favorite)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Arnold Rampersad¿s LIFE OF LANGSTON HUGHES Volume 2 retains much of Hughes¿ evident black pride that is inescapable no matter the type of biography and critical analysis done on him and his body of work. Hughes wrote about many other things during his lifetime, but he mostly celebrated his African-American culture without shame or apology. Volume 2 picks up where the first left off. Langston Hughes is at the crossroads of a lived life. His career as a writer has stalled a bit, he has becomes disillusioned by the predominantely white left who rufuses to understand fully and acknowledge the plight of the black American, and he is ill. Eventually, his career begins to get back on track and Rampersad takes the reader along with Hughes through the rest of his life to his death in 1967. Langston reaches out to the rest of the world through his love for his fellow black Americans and their stories and concerns. He faces the McCarthy hearings successfully but with a slight change from the politcal rhetoric expressed so openly in the 1930¿s where he had merged racial pride with a radical socialism to insure that the left could not exclude blacks from the agenda. He witnesses the rise of a new generation of black writers, some who pleased him others who did not, and challeged them to be proud of their black American heritage in their writing. He also felt the sting of some of these young black writers who felt that he was out of touch and not angry enough. And, he witnessed the return of appreciation from the outside world for his body of work and humanity, despite a dislike he held for some people in general. Arnold Rampersad's depth of exhaustive research is evident in the facts he uncovers in Hughes¿s complicated character. And, some readers will be surprised by what they will read. Volume 2 is free of much of the rheteric that came dangerously close to blatent homophobia in Volume 1. Rampersad doesn¿t come out and declare Hughes as gay, but does make the surprising reference that Hughes had a preference for black men, especially dark skinned black men. This dissonance between not wanting to identify Hughes as gay and Hughes¿s very evident preference for black men as discovered by Rampersad during his exhaustive research is pandemic among certain scholars who believe sexuality has no bearing on creativity, at lease when it comes to certain icons as Hughes is to black America. To me, Langston Hughes was and is a hero made to order! Hughes icon status still burns bright, beautifully, and unblemished for me and his other admirers regardless of any shortcomings and prejudices he held.