The 2021 Fire online Next Time online sale

The 2021 Fire online Next Time online sale

The 2021 Fire online Next Time online sale
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A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation, gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement—and still lights the way to understanding race in America today.  

"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
 
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.

Amazon.com Review

It''s shocking how little has changed between the races in this country since 1963, when James Baldwin published this coolly impassioned plea to "end the racial nightmare." The Fire Next Time--even the title is beautiful, resonant, and incendiary. "Do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?" Baldwin demands, flicking aside the central race issue of his day and calling instead for full and shared acceptance of the fact that America is and always has been a multiracial society. Without this acceptance, he argues, the nation dooms itself to "sterility and decay" and to eventual destruction at the hands of the oppressed: "The Negroes of this country may never be able to rise to power, but they are very well placed indeed to precipitate chaos and ring down the curtain on the American dream."

Baldwin''s seething insights and directives, so disturbing to the white liberals and black moderates of his day, have become the starting point for discussions of American race relations: that debasement and oppression of one people by another is "a recipe for murder"; that "color is not a human or a personal reality; it is a political reality"; that whites can only truly liberate themselves when they liberate blacks, indeed when they "become black" symbolically and spiritually; that blacks and whites "deeply need each other here" in order for America to realize its identity as a nation.

Yet despite its edgy tone and the strong undercurrent of violence, The Fire Next Time is ultimately a hopeful and healing essay. Baldwin ranges far in these hundred pages--from a memoir of his abortive teenage religious awakening in Harlem (an interesting commentary on his first novel Go Tell It on the Mountain) to a disturbing encounter with Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad. But what binds it all together is the eloquence, intimacy, and controlled urgency of the voice. Baldwin clearly paid in sweat and shame for every word in this text. What''s incredible is that he managed to keep his cool. --David Laskin

Review

"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

From the Publisher

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

From the Inside Flap

estseller 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.

From the Back Cover

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.

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.

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Top reviews from the United States

KarenEvans
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must Read for All Americans
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2016
This is a book to read with a pen! My copy, brand new, and fresh from the mailbox now has underlining everywhere and notes filling the margins. The language is beautiful in this book and there is a lot of wisdom to gather. This is my first James Baldwin and I crave... See more
This is a book to read with a pen! My copy, brand new, and fresh from the mailbox now has underlining everywhere and notes filling the margins. The language is beautiful in this book and there is a lot of wisdom to gather. This is my first James Baldwin and I crave more!

The book consists of two letters, a short one written to a nephew and a longer one written to discuss his thoughts and feelings about race, religion, and life. This is the most beautiful description in the entire book. I cannot possibly think of a more exquisite way to word how James sees his brother and how we often see those we have watched grow up.

"Other people cannot see what I see whenever I look into your father’s face for behind your father’s face as it is today are all those other faces which were his. Let him laugh and I see a cellar your father does not remember and a house he does not remember and I hear in his present laughter his laughter as a child."

Baldwin starts his letter by informing his nephew on how black people can be destroyed if they believe what some white people think about them. He discusses a hidden message telling black people to settle for mediocrity rather than striving for excellence. Baldwin believes that black people need to know their history and where they came from so that there will be “no limit to where you can go.”

"…We, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it."
207 people found this helpful
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Erin
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
By far one of the best works I''ve ever read
Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2016
Growing up as the daughter of white parents in the Deep South, while my parents did everything in their power to try and keep us from using racial slurs, there was so much racism imbedded in the area that it was nearly impossible to fight it. It ranged from the blatant to... See more
Growing up as the daughter of white parents in the Deep South, while my parents did everything in their power to try and keep us from using racial slurs, there was so much racism imbedded in the area that it was nearly impossible to fight it. It ranged from the blatant to the subtle, and it stuck in ways that I will probably be discovering for the rest of my life. Baldwin touches upon the use of religion to control, and the belief that the white man is the marker to which the black man should aspire, and that is still very clear in the world... As black men and women are told that their natural hair should be tamed to make them more appropriate for the work place, that the vernacular of their homes and families is somehow uneducated, even as they are surrounded by people who code-switch from a redneck southern dialect or a tough talking New York slang at home, to proper grammar in the workplace. At the end of the day, no one should aspire to whiteness. Instead, all should aspire to be the best they can be of exactly who they are.

This book, brilliantly written, greatly rocked my way of thinking. James Baldwin''s grasp of humanity is one of the most realistic I''ve ever seen. He sees it and tells it just as it is.
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Nomi Seline
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2017
I am a huge fan of James Baldwin, this is the third book that I have bought from him. This is by far one of the best books written by him. I am so happy that I chose to buy this book, I do not regret a thing. It truly is astonishing how not much has changed between the... See more
I am a huge fan of James Baldwin, this is the third book that I have bought from him. This is by far one of the best books written by him. I am so happy that I chose to buy this book, I do not regret a thing. It truly is astonishing how not much has changed between the races in America since 1963. James Baldwin is such an amazing writer, this book is extremely well written. The use of words in this book are utilized in a way that make you feel as though you are within Baldwin''s story. Overall, buy this book if you are interested in learning in the about the history and culture of black individuals during 60s. Also, buy this book if you are interested in reading a quality book with quality writing.
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Joseph Sciuto
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
James Baldwin''s "The Fire Next Time" is more a brilliant, masterfully constructed Supreme Court Opinion than it is ...
Reviewed in the United States on July 3, 2018
James Baldwin''s "The Fire Next Time" is more a brilliant, masterfully constructed Supreme Court Opinion than it is a novel. And whereas I truly loved his analysis and opinions of the Negro problem in America, I still prefer his old fashion, novels with the numerous... See more
James Baldwin''s "The Fire Next Time" is more a brilliant, masterfully constructed Supreme Court Opinion than it is a novel. And whereas I truly loved his analysis and opinions of the Negro problem in America, I still prefer his old fashion, novels with the numerous unforgettable characters, boundary breaking storylines, and sublime and poetic writing style.

In 2015, my great contemporary literary discovery was Don Delillo; and now in 2017 and 18 my great, contemporary, literary discovery is James Baldwin. Sadly, neither man ever won a Pulitzer prize and unless a miracle happens and they give Mr. DeLillo Nobel Prize neither man would have won a Nobel Peace Prize. Simply too busy giving out the prize to Bob Dylan.

"The Fire Next Time" might not be for everyone, but it is, in my opinion, just another wonderful addition and indication of how great a writer and thinker Mr. Baldwin truly was... And forever will be remembered as such.
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Timothy HaughTop Contributor: Baby
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An Important Document
Reviewed in the United States on March 27, 2019
As readers of my reviews know, I rarely comment on books that are well-known classics (as this is); however, I wanted to write a few lines about this book. First, it is an important historical document. Mr. Baldwin is recording life as he experienced it. I found his... See more
As readers of my reviews know, I rarely comment on books that are well-known classics (as this is); however, I wanted to write a few lines about this book. First, it is an important historical document. Mr. Baldwin is recording life as he experienced it. I found his description of an evening with Elijah Muhammad endlessly fascinating, as I noted also his comments on Malcolm X before he broke with Muhammad. Second, there is no denying the power and passion in his prose. I have rarely come across an essay/memoir where the fire lights every page, like it does here. One may argue with some of Mr. Baldwin’s observations and conclusions and I do think the world has changed somewhat since this book was written (if, for the better, it is with some thanks to writers like Mr. Baldwin), but this is a book that still has much to offer a reader.
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Tarik D. LaCourTop Contributor: Philosophy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A book for all Americans
Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2018
As a voracious reader, there are few books that I have read and at the end felt as though I was a completely different person. Even fewer have moved me to the point of tears. James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time is a book that did both. Before reading thisImage... See more
As a voracious reader, there are few books that I have read and at the end felt as though I was a completely different person. Even fewer have moved me to the point of tears. James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time is a book that did both.

Before reading thisImage result for the fire next time book, I had only heard of Baldwin in passing and had never read any of his books. My friend and mentor Brad Kramer (who is an anthropologist and professor at Utah Valley University) recommended the book to me so I bought it out of a sense of duty to heed a mentors recommendation. However, I put the book off for a time and did not view it as urgent to read it. Then, while we were having lunch with Brad, he told me that he got similar feelings when reading Baldwin’s book that he did in past times when he was reading the scriptures (he and I are practicing Mormons). This increased my intrigued and I put the book on my list to read in the new year. I am not engaging in hyperbole when I state this book is one of the best that I have ever read.

The book takes the form of a long essay divided into two parts. The first portion is Baldwin writing a letter to his fourteen year old nephew. The second (and most important part) is Baldwin’s account of his life as a black man in Harlem and how we as American’s must overcome our racial issues if we are truly to become a great nation. Baldwin, who lived during the Civil Rights Movement, is a much different person than the two men who have come to be the faces of that era: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Dr. King was a Christian minister who saw the movement in terms of the Christian message. Malcolm was a minister in the Nation of Islam (until 1964) and thought that the blacks and whites should be separated and that blacks were superior to whites.

Baldwin was somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. He recounts in the essay that he was attracted to Christianity as a youth because of its power to move people and eventually became a Christian minister himself. But, after seeing how the Christian Church was not making progress on the race issue and seeing how it could be used to justify racism, he left Christianity. However, Christianity never left him. In the essay Baldwin comes across with the air of prophet, warning that if change isn’t made the consequences will be dire. Unlike Malcolm, Baldwin did not believe that one place was superior to the other (he says just because something is different does not make it superior or inferior). His message, while spoken in religious terms, does not require adherence to any theology.

I will address two key moments in the book, and leave it to the reader to read the book and fill in the rest. While Baldwin was in Chicago, he had the opportunity to meet and have dinner with Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. While he ate with Elijah, he was impressed with the power of the man over his followers, but noted that he was disgusted with the Nation’s teachings. While he respected the Nation for making blacks more self-reliant, he could not endorse their racist ideology, which he saw as the same story as what white Americans were doing but in reverse. This spoke to me personally because I also have had the opportunity to be around members of the Nation of Islam, and like Baldwin was more than uncomfortable. The message is counterproductive and nonsensical.

The most important part of the good is after Baldwin describes his meeting with the Elijah Muhammad. He states:

Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves to totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeple, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have.

Baldwin concludes that America needs to become post-racial, meaning that while we can acknowledge that we have differences in skin color, there is no reason to attribute certain characteristics to people due to there skin color. Further, while Baldwin was friends with the aforementioned Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad, he also points out that we all need each other; racism has an equally bad effect upon whites as it does upon blacks.

In an era where racism still raises its ugly head, The Fire Next Time is a book that all Americans, regardless of color, need to have in their personal library. I plan to read it once a year going forward. A truly wonderful, remarkable book.
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great read for white people
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2018
Baldwin describes very personal pre-1970s experiences with racism, including his interactions with Malcom X and Elijah Muhammad, two critical black leaders that white people tended to fear rather than understand. As a white person, the historical context provides a broader... See more
Baldwin describes very personal pre-1970s experiences with racism, including his interactions with Malcom X and Elijah Muhammad, two critical black leaders that white people tended to fear rather than understand. As a white person, the historical context provides a broader perspective regarding the racism of the 2000s. On the one hand, its only been 50 years since the 1965 Civil Rights Act; yet on the other hand, its been 50 years since the Civil Right Act. Generations of older whites were raised in racist families, and unfortunately, subsequent generations of young people have grown up in racist families. How much longer will open racism and unacknowledged racial bias be the rule?

An additional Baldwin focus is the frustration and hopelessness of millions of black men who see few occupational and educational opportunities, and have 100s of years of deathly experiences with white law enforcement. Baldwin''s letter to his nephew is far superior to Te-Nihisi Coates book.
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Michelle Ryan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Every word rings true.
Reviewed in the United States on February 4, 2017
Should be required reading for every American. Rarely have I read words of such clarity, elegance and insight in any subject. That Baldwin was able to write in this way about race is a gift to all who wish to heal our deep national wound. And we should all wish to heal it.... See more
Should be required reading for every American. Rarely have I read words of such clarity, elegance and insight in any subject. That Baldwin was able to write in this way about race is a gift to all who wish to heal our deep national wound. And we should all wish to heal it. Every word rings true.

Baldwin was that rare person who has a deep understanding of the frailty, nobility and beauty of the human soul. His compassion and humanity shines forth through every brilliant word in this powerful book. He wrote from a place few have been able to attain, sharing home truths without harsh cruelty, but with great clarity and authority. Sadly, what he wrote in 1963 in this book applies to this day: We have not yet learned what he was trying so hard to teach us and we have much left to do. Read this book, let its profound lessons guide you deep into self inquiry, so that you too might understand the nature of your soul, and perhaps become a better human being in the process.
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