Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey

Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey

by Colin Grant


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New in paperback, this groundbreaking biography captures the full sweep and epic dimensions of Marcus Garvey's life, the dazzling triumphs and the dreary exile. As Grant shows, Garvey was a man of contradictions: a self-educated, poetry-writing aesthete and unabashed propagandist, an admirer of Lenin, and a dandy given to elaborate public displays. Above all, he was a shrewd promoter whose use of pageantry evoked a lost African civilization and fired the imagination of his followers. Negro With a Hat restores Garvey to his place as one of the founders of black nationalism and a key figure of the 20th century.

"A searching, vivid, and (as the title suggests) complex account of Garvey's short but consequential life."
—Steve Hahn, The New Republic

"The story of Marcus Garvey, the charismatic and tireless black leader who had a meteoric rise and fall in the late 1910s and early '20s, makes for enthralling reading, and Garvey has found an engaging and objective biographer in Colin Grant.... Grant's book is not all politics, ideology, money and lawsuits. It is also an engrossing social history.... Negro With a Hat is an achievement on a scale Garvey might have appreciated."
New York Times Book Review

"Dazzling, definitive biography of the controversial activist who led the 1920s 'Back to Africa' movement.... Grant's learned passion for his subject shimmers on every page. A riveting and well-wrought volume that places Garvey solidly in the pantheon of important 20th-century black leaders."
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"This splendid book is certain to become the definitive biography. Garvey was a dreamer and a doer; Grant captures the fascination of both."
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"Grant's strength lies in his ability to re-create political moods and offer compelling sketches of colorful individuals and their organizations.... An engaging and readable introduction to a complicated and contentious historical actor who, in his time, possessed a unique capacity to inspire devotion and hatred, adulation and fear."
—Chicago Tribune

"A monumental, nuanced and broadly sympathetic portrait."
—Financial Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195393095
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 03/02/2010
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 127,618
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Colin Grant is an independent historian who works for BBC Radio. The son of Jamaican parents, he lives in London.

Table of Contents

Prologue: A Premature Death
Chapter One: Bury the Dead and Take Care of the Living
Chapter Two: Almost an Englishman
Chapter Three: In the Company of Negroes
Chapter Four: An Ebony Orator in Harlem
Chapter Five: No Flag but the Stars and Stripes - and possibly the Union Jack
Chapter Six: If We Must Die
Chapter Seven: How to Manufacture a Traitor
Chapter Eight: Harlem Speaks for Scattered Ethiopia
Chapter Nine: Flyin' Home on the Black Star Line
Chapter Ten: A Star in the Storm
Chapter Eleven: He Who Plays the King
Chapter Twelve: Last Stop Liberia
Chapter Thirteen: Not to Mention his Colour
Chapter Fourteen: Behold the Demagogue or Misunderstood Messiah
Chapter Fifteen: Caging the Tiger
Chapter Sixteen: Into the Furnace
Chapter Seventeen: Silence Mr. Garvey
Chapter Eighteen: Gone to Foreign

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Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every once in a while, I come across a book which is a truly magnificient piece of work. Colin Grant's extensively researched and nuanced writing in 'Negro With a Hat', is up there, with the very best. Even more so when I realised that he is a first-time author. I'm convinced that he is a writer that we shall be hearing much more of. I've read many glowing reviews in the British press, but wanted to make up my own mind. As I understand it, this is the first biography on Garvey in decades. Grant skillfully demonstrates that, in order to understand Garvey, it is necessary to have an appreciation of the era in which he came to the forefront and complexities therein. I was stunned by the exciting, almost cinematic approach of 'Negro With a Hat' to this maddeningly complex character, Marcus Garvey. Grant's portrayal is lucid and intelligent and doesn't shy away from the questions that I and my friends have been asking for years - was Marcus Garvey a prophet or a fool? Grant clearly admires the great leader without playing down his foibles. His honest and compelling book is also accessible and deserves to be widely read. For those who relish a challenging read and want to be enlightened with a completely different perspective on Garvey, the man, this is a must-read. Highly recommended.
Gean_Brown More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader of Black History, I can surely put "Negro with a Hat and The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey" on a pedestal as a book that will be wide open in the minds of the readers. It is a class act.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is well researched, but a little too detailed for my tastes. It was fascinating to read about Marcus Garvey's work for African--American rights and how his organization clashed with the NAACP. The book is 500 pages and I would have preferred the same information condensed to under 300. I found myself skimming much of the book, especially the first 150 or so pages.