The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

by James Baldwin
The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

by James Baldwin


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Notes From Your Bookseller

Although written in 1967, it's time we all caught up with James Baldwin and read (or re-read) this book now. Even our best intentions need to be checked, and James Baldwin's words are the way. A voice from the past, needed as much today and even more so than yesterday. Please don't wait for tomorrow.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The book that galvanized the nation, gave voice to the emerging civil rights movementin the 1960s—and still lights the way to understanding race in America today. • "The finest essay I’ve ever read.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates

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 from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. 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 literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679744726
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/01/1992
Series: Vintage International
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 18,260
Product dimensions: 5.26(w) x 8.01(h) x 0.46(d)
Lexile: 1300L (what's this?)

About the Author

JAMES BALDWIN (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Baldwin spent much of his life in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.

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


DeWitt Clinton High School, New York City

Table of Contents

The Fire Next Time inspired me to become a better writer. The book takes on race, religion and sexuality in a way that is still relevant.

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

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