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The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  218 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
The Cross of Redemption is a revelation by an American literary master: a gathering of essays, articles, polemics, reviews, and interviews that have never before appeared in book form.

James Baldwin was one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the past century, renowned for his fierce engagement with issues haunting our common history. In The Cross of R
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Vintage (first published August 24th 2010)
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Stephanie Brown
Jan 02, 2011 Stephanie Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a big fan of James Baldwin since I was a kid. Growing up in a Christian school and with religious grandparents, I attended Sunday service faithfully. It wasn't until I read Baldwin's essay, recounting his childhood experience at a revival sermon, that I found the words to express my experience (or lack thereof) in the black church.

I went on to read Go, Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni's Room, Another Country, The Fire Next Time, and my all-time favorite--If Beale Street Could Talk (a
Dec 29, 2015 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I had never heard of James Baldwin prior to 2015 but I am so very glad that I've discovered him now.
It took me a long time to read this book. It's a collection of his previously unpublished essays, speeches, reviews etc. I dipped in and out, reading a selection here and there and taking the time to absorb it.
My favourite today is We Can Change the Country but I reserve the right to change that choice periodically and when I read more of his work.
Bookmarks Magazine
Despite being labeled as "bill-paying work" (Los Angeles Times), the items collected here provide an illuminating portrait of the writer and his times, but the fragmented nature of the material poses its own set of problems: several critics faulted these pieces as uneven, repetitive, and at times pompous and histrionic. Nevertheless, this wide-ranging collection underscores Baldwin's passion, intellect, and the moral force with which he lived his life. Baldwin's legacy is his writing, by which " ...more
Nov 15, 2014 kripsoo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب ده عبارة عن ما يقرب من ستين نصًا لم يتم جمعهم من قبل في كتاب ما بين مقالات، خطب، عروض كتب وكتابات عن أشخاص كتبها الاديب المناضل الافروامريكان "جيمس بالدوين" وهو واحد من أكثر كتاب القرن العشرين السود إنتاجًا وإنغماسًا في النشاط السياسي وبالنسبة للقراء الغير معتادين على كتابات بالدوين سوف تواجهم بعض المعضلات الصغيرة في قراءته لان مجمل كتابات بالدوين تتحدث حول شقاقه الناشئ عن تعامله مع المعجم اللغوي المستخدم من قبل الأمريكيين لعرض تصورهم عن العالم وبالنسبة لهؤلاء المعتادين على كتاباته وبخاص ...more
Feb 11, 2015 Yossie rated it it was amazing
Maggie Ferguson
60 - I mean, I walk inot a room and everyone there is terribly proud of himself because I managed to get to the rooom. It proves to him taht he is getting better. It's funny, but it's terribly sad. It's sad that one needs this kind of corroboration and it's terribly sad that one can be so self-deluded.
113 - Lorraine Hansberry to Bobby Kennedy: "But I am very worried," she said, "about the state of the civilization which produced that photograph of the white cop standing on that Negro woman's ne
Dec 18, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: partially-read
Partially read. To return to.
Jamie Howison
Dec 11, 2015 Jamie Howison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My primary purpose for checking this out from the library was to read Baldwin's essay, "The Uses of the Blues." I went to that essay first, and then spent a productive few hours dipping in and out of other pieces. The book suffers from what tend to afflict posthumously published collections of "uncollected writings", in that not everything really needed to be published... but I continue to find Baldwin irresistible, if occasionally maddening. That's why this one gets the four star rating; I'd ha ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the most electrifying writer I have ever read, and one of the most provocative minds twentieth-century America ever produced. The essays here, as elsewhere, are astonishing -- both subject and style. It was hard for me to read this book, because I miss Baldwin's fierce humanism: so often I wonder what he would have to say about the state of our nation and the world today. (In his excellent introduction, Kenan talks about this.) I can't help but think that if he hadn't been taken so soon ...more
Mar 19, 2013 Quan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Baldwin in a nutshell: he talks about race as it relates to the private lives of individuals. And he does so with unmatched lyricism and great moral conviction.

If you're into that sort of thing, this book of disparate writings works well as a sort of portable motivational tool. The thing is, Baldwin covers a lot of the same ground in many of his essays. If you're reading this straight through, you'll start to see some repetition.

What I did was keep it in my laptop bag for a few months. Whenever
It's tough to evaluate this collection, because on the one hand James Baldwin is awesome, and on the other this wasn't exactly curated, if you know what I mean. There are some really wonderful pieces here, but the nature of the work presented in The Cross of Redemption, and especially in the section devoted to essays and speeches, makes the work seem repetitive and didactic. Well, I guess James Baldwin is always going to be didactic-in-a-good-way, but because there was no organic organizing prin ...more
Dec 31, 2012 Olivia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"An absorbing portrait of Baldwin's time - and of him", The New York Review of Books state on the cover of The Cross of Redemption - a collection of essays, reviews, speeches and letters by the American author. And this is very true; Baldwin tells us of the American psyche and conscience spanning from the '50s to the '80s, painting the sharp details of the prejudice and fears that were eating the public's hearts, then as well as nowadays. He tells of the American dream, which is exactly that - a ...more
Feb 04, 2011 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of Baldwin's essays, speeches, and reviews that were never published. None of these are in the Library of America edition of his Collected Essays, and in reading them I really wondered why not. Maybe there were space considerations. But whatever the reason, I can only say that, having read this, one can really only pull quotes from it with the suggestion that everything the man ever wrote, 'collected' or 'un-', is worth reading.

Baldwin's is often pigeon-holed as 'race writi
Michael Shoemake
"Uncollected Writings" feels almost like an excuse after reading the book. Baldwin's work here isn't shoddy so much as uninteresting -- this is a collection of him exploring the same thoughts he did in his other nonfiction, but without as much power, fire, or nuance as his better-known works. Which makes sense; these were not written with the same ends in mind as The Fire Next Time or Notes of a Native Son, and it often feels as though in Cross of Redemption that Baldwin is working out where he ...more
Oct 29, 2011 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James Baldwin's works are imbued with the passion and pain that fueled a dehumanized generation. His essays in this remarkable collection are heavy in content, but Baldwin perhaps conveys the idea of Civil Rights and the inequality which permeated his life better than any of his contemporaries. He synthesizes Malcolm X's anger, Martin Luther King's idealism, with powerful philosophical ideas which trump the formers; both in articulation and the ideas themselves. Baldwin's homosexuality as an Afr ...more
Nelson Lowhim
Not as strong as his other essay collections. Also seems more sporadic, both in subject and quality. Some gems, though, that make it worth reading. I liked the ones on writers... but of course I would
Joshunda Sanders
I'm biased about James Baldwin, because reading his voice as a teenager (among many others) fed my passion to write. So I was looking forward to reading the advance copy of this book, which will be released in August. It reveals Baldwin in all of his elegance, and clarity, his insightful struggling to be "an honest man and a good writer." The more time passes, the more I respect and love him and wish I could have taken one of his classes. This volume includes a profile of Floyd Patterson & o ...more
Jun 28, 2015 Bonita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each word of James Baldwin scares me. He is so on point then and now. If you love the words of James Baldwin you will embrace this book.
Taryn Janati
Jul 20, 2015 Taryn Janati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was almost going to deface the library copy of this book with all of my highlights, so guess I'll have to buy it!
Great essays about race and the role of the artist. Nothing significant about gays.
Jul 17, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm gonna have to buy this one to have. SOOOO good to have his speeches and letters.
Jan 26, 2016 Kit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
A lot of essential pieces here - even the stuff Baldwin didn't bother to collect is amazing for the most part.
This isn't my favourite Baldwin book, but it has its moments. It includes essays, reviews, speeches and interviews written between 1947 and 1984. I liked in particular 'The Fire This Time: A letter to the Bishop' and 'The Fight: Patterson vs Liston'.
Derek Fenner
Mar 22, 2012 Derek Fenner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book fueled many inter-meeting landscapes with a pounding of fists on the table. Baldwin always was and always will be what needs to be said.
Kate Blue
was actually kind of boring, I should've chosen the collection of writings by his actual books.
Daryl Grigsby
will be hunting for this tommorrow - jimmy baldwin was a true prophet
Nadine Brown
1/6/11 Roomie picked up at coffee shop. I am to read first. Yippee!
Jan 30, 2013 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
possibly never to finish this collection
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Trading Baldwin 1 5 Oct 21, 2010 12:23PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic.

James Baldwin offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the 1950s and '60s. The eldest of nine children, his stepfather was a minister. At age 14, Bal
More about James Baldwin...

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“Every white person in this country-and I do not care what he or she says-knows one thing. They may not know, as they put, "what I want",but they know they would not like to be black here.
If they know that, then they know everything they need to know, and whatever else they say is a lie.”
“America sometimes resembles, at least from the point of view of a black man, an exceedingly monotonous minstrel show; the same dances, same music, same jokes. One has done (or been) the show so long that one can do it in one’s own sleep.” 11 likes
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