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The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  22 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 2010)
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Stephanie Brown
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
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
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
Borrowed from library to remind why I read his work, starting in the barracks in early '60s.

Some quotes from "The Uses of the Blues"

" ... title does not refer to music ... It does refer to the experience of life, or the state of being, out of which the blues comes ... I might have titled this, for example, 'The Uses of Anguish' or 'The Uses of Pain.'... And I want to suggest that the acceptance of this anguish one finds in the blues, and the expression of it, creates also, however odd this may
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
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
"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
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
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
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
Hai-Dang Phan
Baldwin is one of our greatest bullshit detectors. There are a handful of essential essays here--"Mass Culture and the Creative Artist," "The Artist's Struggle for Integrity," and "The Uses of the Blues," to name some--that I'll re-read to help keep myself honest as a writer, man, and citizen. And as Baldwin reminds us, there cannot not be the lived tension of despair and joy in that.
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
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!
possibly never to finish this collection
Mar 08, 2011 Jocelyn is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay, liberation
Available in March 2010.
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Trading Baldwin 1 4 Oct 21, 2010 12:23PM  
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  • I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle
  • Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision
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  • The Norton Anthology of African American Literature
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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...
Go Tell It on the Mountain Giovanni's Room The Fire Next Time Notes of a Native Son Another Country

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“Not a thousand years ago, it was illegal to teach a slave to read. Not a thousand years ago, the Supreme Court decided that separate could not be equal. And today, as we sit here, no one is learning anything in this country. You see a nation which is the leader of the rest of the world, that had to pay the price of that ticket, and the price of that ticket is we're sitting in the most illiterate nation in the world. THE MOST ILLITERATE NATION IN THE WORLD. A monument to illiteracy. And if you doubt me, all you have to do is spend a day in Washington. I am serious as a heart attack.” 7 likes
“The moral authority in the Western world is gone. And it is gone forever. It is gone, not because of the criminal record--everybody's record is criminal. It is gone because you cannot do one thing and pretend you're doing another! None of us, who are sitting around in some of the true limbo out-of-space, which we call "now," waiting to be saved, civilized, or discovered, have the moral authority to say anything.” 7 likes
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