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Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Eddie S. Glaude

Narrated By: Eddie S. Glaude

Date: June 2020

Duration: 7 hours 44 minutes

Summary:

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. In our own moment, when that confrontation feels more urgently needed than ever, what can we learn from his struggle?
 
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY CHICAGO TRIBUNE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND TIME • Shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice • “A powerful study of how to bear witness in a moment when America is being called to do the same.”—Time 

We live, according to Eddie S. Glaude Jr., in a moment when the struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged by the election of Donald Trump, a president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race. From Charlottesville to the policies of child separation at the border, his administration turned its back on the promise of Obama’s presidency and refused to embrace a vision of the country shorn of the insidious belief that white people matter more than others. 

We have been here before: For James Baldwin, these after times came in the wake of the civil rights movement, when a similar attempt to compel a national confrontation with the truth was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these years, spanning from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair.  

In the story of Baldwin’s crucible, Glaude suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography—drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews—with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude’s endeavor, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

Genres:

  • Keri V.

    This vivid journey of an entangled America, a philosophical and visionary Baldwin, and Glaude’s own life experience led to me to write this first public review of anything. I just want to say thank you Dr. Glaude - what a wonderful casting and capturing of complexity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Tracey B.

    This book is both painful and hopeful. My wish is for everyone to read this at least once, but many more times- there’s so much important information and perspective to be absorbed. The narrator (Mr. Glaude) has a beautiful, soothing and inspiring voice and pace. This is brilliant.

  • Latoya L.

    If Baldwin had a son, it would most definitely be in the form of Eddie......Immediately,I was super jealous, I wanted to be walking beside Eddie when he visited Baldwins remains (home and 11 acres), that they were turning to luxury apartments. I understand Baldwin departure from America and living in Nice for 17 years. He witnessed the betrayals of Black freedom struggle in America and fled to find what was left on him in a pile of ruins. Because he was America is becoming unrecognizable. They're fighting and feigning for a past that can't be retrieved, one that they honor, that's filled with anger, bigotry. I mean they're longing for the past so much, that they'd do almost anything to relive it. Ready to hide behind race and fight for cruel and hateful policies no matter who they hurt as long as it gets done. Whew chile....Eddie wrote the Hell outta this book, you hear me! Fear is covered by fury, on all sides. But when will it be enough! America birthed this ugliness we see and are doubling down in it. We all can be better, but are we going to take the necessary steps, acknowledge the truths no matter how ugly they are, hold those accountable for their actions/privilege, or will we continue to turn a blind eye to it all. Why are we wallowing in ignorance? You see America changes all the time without changing at all. #Book41of2020 #bookworm #whatsnext

Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

by Eddie S. Glaude

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Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, Eddie S. Glaude
Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, Eddie S. Glaude
This title is due for release on June 30, 2020.

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