How the clash between the civil rights firebrand and the father of modern conservatism continues to illuminate America's racial divide On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to witness a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America's most influential conservative intellectual. The topic was the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro, and no one who has seen the debate can soon forget it. Nicholas Buccola's The Fire Is upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, the controversies that followed, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate America's racial divide today. Born in New York City only fifteen months apart, the Harlem-raised Baldwin and the privileged Buckley could not have been more different, but they both rose to the height of American intellectual life during the civil rights movement. By the time they met in Cambridge, Buckley was determined to sound the alarm about a man he considered an eloquent menace. For his part, Baldwin viewed Buckley as a deluded reactionary whose popularity revealed the sickness of the American soul. The stage was set for an epic confrontation that pitted Baldwin's call for a moral revolution in race relations against Buckley's unabashed elitism and implicit commitment to white supremacy. A remarkable story of race and the American dream, The Fire Is upon Us reveals the deep roots and lasting legacy of a conflict that continues to haunt our politics.
Scintillating. ---Robert Tsai, Boston Review The Fire Is Upon Us . . . sets the context for the epic confrontation, illuminating two vastly different visions of race relations in the United States that, to a great extent, remain relevant today . . . Buccola concludes, provocatively, that although Buckley lost the debate at Cambridge, he used racial resentment to help conservatives capture the Republican party, take control of southern politics, and win the presidency in seven of the last ten elections. The price of victory, he adds, 'has been incredibly high'. ---Dr. Glenn Altschuler, Florida Courier This is a book I highly recommend all Americans read. ---Christian Starr, ThyBlackMan.com Nicholas Buccola's The Fire Is upon Us is a riveting, expansive companion text to a historic debate that swept the nation. . . . Following the men's journeys with meticulous detail, Buccola's biographical/historical/political hybrid proffers valuable insights for the current day. * Foreword Reviews * Both a dual biography of Buckley and Baldwin and an acute commentary on a great intellectual prizefight. . . . [Nicholas Buccola] deftly guides the reader through the rhetorical and philosophical moves of Baldwin's speech. . . . The Fire Is Upon Us becomes revelatory in its interpretation of Buckley's performance. . . . It is tempting to view the Baldwin-Buckley debate as a small victory for the idea of racial equality: Baldwin carried the floor vote 544 to 164. But part of the wisdom of The Fire Is Upon Us is that it leaves the import of the evening open to question. ---Thomas Meaney, New York Times Book Review A study of two acclaimed American thinkers on opposite sides of the political spectrum that underscores the enormous race and class divisions in 1960s America, many of which still exist today. . . . An elucidating work that makes effective use of comparison and contrast. * Kirkus Reviews * Nicholas Buccola's captivating new book, The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr. and the Debate over Race in America, not only masterfully re-creates the debate in dramatic detail, but provides critical context, illuminating the road that each man traveled to Cambridge, and the groundbreaking work that established Baldwin and Buckley as iconic figures on opposite sides of the battle over racial justice and white supremacy that divided the country then as today. ---Steve Nathans-Kelly, New York Journal of Books
Generi History » Contemporary History » Social & Economic History , Social Sciences » Anthropology » Sociology , Politics & Philosophy » Political Activism & Participation » Political Control & Freedoms » Politics & Government
Editore Princeton University Press
Isbn o codice id 9780691181547