Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “To Die for the People” as Want to Read:
To Die for the People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

To Die for the People

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  515 ratings  ·  29 reviews

A fascinating, first-person account of a historic era in the struggle for black empowerment in America.

Paperback, 248 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by City Lights Publishers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about To Die for the People, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about To Die for the People

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  515 ratings  ·  29 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of To Die for the People
Wow. Required reading for anyone who claims that an interest in socialism/communism is about listening to a bunch of white guys. Huey's dedication to his Marxist-Leninist principles and also his ability to break down dialectics and the views of the BPP left me in awe after every essay. He knew the true meaning of international solidarity and also maintained humility while admitting his faults. I also learned a lot more about him, like the fact that he didn't learn how to read until the age of 17 ...more
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apocalypse-reads
This collection of essays, letters, and speeches is a must-read for organizers. Huey Newton and the Black Panther Party were grounded in meeting the material needs of the community first and foremost, recognizing the survival programs as some of the most important work of the Party, while maintaining an internationalist perspective of solidarity with oppressed communities worldwide against a common enemy: the US empire. Newton’s cautioning against revolutionary cultism would be a good reminder f ...more
To Die for the People is a collection of essays and speeches by Huey Newton. On the street level the Black Panthers did some brave and admirable things but as far as their rhetoric they are more or less hardline Marxists more so than black nationalists. Newton is actually pretty hard on African/Cultural Nationalists calling them cultists with no solutions to black peoples problems.

Newton also shows himself to be a huge sucker putting pics of himself on a guided tour in Communist China during th
Gabriel Avocado
huey p. newton was probably the most brilliant marxist leninst to ever grace north american soil. read this.
Wendy Liu
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essays, correspondence, Party leaflets and interviews. Lots of overlap with Reactionary Suicide (Newton’s memoir) but I enjoyed reading this anyway, with one notable exception: the laborious analysis of the film Sweet Sweetback, which was too heavy-handed for my liking. Worth reading if you’re interested in learning more about the Black Panthers.
Aug 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
To Die for the People is essential reading for the would-be Black revolutionary. It is a collection of Huey P. Newton’s Party declarations, letters, responses, speeches, and interviews, laying out his vision of Black liberation and defining the Black Panther Party’s platform and agenda. Huey makes clear throughout the book that the Black Panther Party’s essential purpose was to awaken the consciousness of the Black masses by (1) providing for folks' most essential material needs, and (2) providi ...more
Dec 28, 2007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
if only I could find this book for under a hundred bucks!
Davu Zulu
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very great and educational book regarding The Black Panther Party and their ideology. A must read!
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is fascinating as an historical and political document. I learned a lot about the Black Panthers and about Huey P. Newton, and I still have much to learn. This book spans Newton's writings between 1969-71 and is edited by Toni Morrison. It includes speeches and letters. It gives insight into material that originated then as radical and is now accepted in the mainstream; it also gives insight into the hopes for Communism that did not materialize. Here is one quote from the book that I l ...more
I found the book to be very articulate and provocative. In this book, Huey Newton defended his party's philosophies, past mistakes, and political positions against criticisms and attacks. He was very Marxist-Leninist in terms of how he saw the world and how he believed his people would rise from their oppression. He believed his people's struggle was not an isolated struggle that in fact, his people's struggle needed to ally themselves with other struggles at the time against the same enemy: Cap ...more
Jessica M Williams
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I cherished Newton's thoughts, and I also recognized the love and dedication he exhibited for the people. Newton provided his audience with clear facts about the organization and their intentions. I thought about J. Edgar Hoover a few times as my eyes scanned the pages. Hoover considered the Black Panther Party the biggest threat to America's safety but made it his job to target all Black Political leaders (e.g., NAACP leaders, Malcolm X, and Huey Newton.) I genuinely wish the Black Panther Orga ...more
City Lights Booksellers & Publishers
"Huey P. Newton's To Die for the People represents one of the most important analyses of the politics of race, black radicalism, and democracy written during the civil rights-Black Power era. It remains a crucial and indispensible text in our contemporary efforts to understand the continuous legacy of social movements of the 1960s and 1970s."
—Peniel Joseph, author of Waiting Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America

"Newton's ability to see theoretically, beyond most in
Jared Della Rocca
Having recently read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, I found Huey Newton's writings and speeches to be a fitting finish to that trilogy. Newton succinctly captures the theory of revolution, understanding the need for both the big - large marches, shows of force - and the small - busing programs for families of prisoners, breakfast programs for children.

If Martin Luther King's speeches took you to soaring heights, Huey Newton's will show you the path it
Marisa Natale
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only criticism of this book is the way it was edited. It was not organized chronologically, which I think would have really helped me to understand the development of Newton's thought over the years. Instead it was organized in loosely thematic chapters like "white america" which isn't really a discernible category. Still, Fernandez chose writings very well to include and they were certainly inspiring and thought provoking. I only wish it had been organized differently! ...more
Chad Montabon
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of the books written contemporaneously with the prominent years of the B.P.P. this is clearest, and most easily read. 'Soul on Ice' by Eldridge Cleaver (and likely a ghost writer) was clunky, 'Sieze the Time' by Bobby Seal was similar and George Jackson's 'Blood in My Eye' was little more than 'radical' talk with the common talking points and chants.

'To Die for the People' flows well and it's short. It spells out the basic ideals of the B.P.P..
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read, a real education in revolution.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
A great book to see the development and fine tuning of Newton's ideas. A must read if interested in studying the black panthers beyond the caricature image some movies provide. ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is pretty powerful stuff. While I will not say I agree with everything Newton says or writes, this gives great insight into the mind of the black man, and the black revolution.
Rafael Suleiman
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compelling compilation of the writings of one of the founders of the Black Panther Party.
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a man.
Mar 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating book to read, in part I think, because Newton grasped something that we can can all too easily loose hold of: that when America was founded, it was intended to evolve; the constitution was never meant to be an unchanging monolith, and this country was not birthed fully formed, but in an only partially developed state. In many ways, when this country began, it was grasping for something that would long remain out of its reach, and in many ways, it was grasping for something ...more
David Garza
Dec 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really have no idea if this is the best collection of Huey Newton or not - perhaps there are more comprehensive collections out there. Regardless, this collection is still a great introduction to the thoughts and words of the founder of the Black Panther Party. Here we get the necessary insight to Newton's personal political and societal perspectives. On top of that, this collection also serves as a collection of primary sources for the late-60s & early-70s social and political movements, whic ...more
Kato Cooks
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, the first published tome of Huey's writing (1971), was required reading in the Black Panther Party. It showcases a socio-political maturity of its author, the Party's founder, leader, and chief theoretician, that rivaled the scholarship of political scientist Robert Heilbroner. The shadows would emerge much later for the public and to many of us within the Party apparatus (I served in the Party's southern California chapter, and its underground cadre, from 1969 to 1982).
The reader mus
Nov 26, 2022 rated it really liked it
great collection of writings, i just wish they organised them differently so we could see newton’s thought process/ideas adapt clearly. newton was a v dedicated marxist-leninist and the thing i admire the most about him and the black panther party is their dedication to the people and meeting them where they are.

4 stars because of the review for sweet sweetbacks badassss song. what even was that
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely revolutionary for my political consciousness. Newton deserves way more credit than he gets as a theoretician of dialectical materialism. His conceptions of Intercommunalism and Revolutionary Suicide need to become required reading for all American leftists.
Fawwaz O
Nov 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: black-history
Tons and tons of quality essays and speech’s that further outline his thoughts and opinions i really enjoyed it
Terry NeSmith
Oct 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating view into the politics of the late 60s to early 70s. I understand now how different life could be if government officials listened to the people. Awakening!
Feb 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-home-library
For all those in the United States who consider themselves Marxist-Leninists, this book is an absolute must-read. I was practically glued to the pages while reading this book, and it is one of the few books that I could not resist annotating. Huey Newton is not nearly as recognized for his theoretical genius as he should be, but for those that have read this book, his analytical skills are abundantly clear. The Black Panther Party is an extremely important ML organization and needs to be studied ...more
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The State and Revolution
  • The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey
  • Women, Race & Class
  • The Principles of Communism
  • Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism
  • Reform or Revolution
  • Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism
  • Assata: An Autobiography
  • Women's Liberation and the African Freedom Struggle
  • Blood in My Eye
  • Philosophical Trends in the Feminist Movement
  • Why Socialism?
  • The Communist Manifesto
  • Guerrilla Warfare
  • Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung
  • Dialectical and Historical Materialism
  • Black Skin, White Masks
  • Wage Labour and Capital
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Huey Percy Newton was co-founder and leader of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, a civil rights organization that began in October 1966.

Related Articles

For those with a taste for nonfiction—or even just a curiosity about what’s out there—we’ve gathered below the most popular nonfiction titles...
46 likes · 34 comments
“Laws should be made to serve the people. People should not be made to serve the laws.” 50 likes
More quotes…