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Soul on Ice

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  10,766 Ratings  ·  274 Reviews
"Nineteen fifty-four, when I was eighteen years old, is held to be a crucial turning point in the history of the Afro-American -- for the USA as a whole -- the year segregation was outlawed by the the US Supreme Court. It was also a rucial year for me beause on June 18, 1954, I began serving a sentence in state prison for possession of marijuana....." Thus begins the book ...more
paper, 192 pages
Published August 1st 1970 by Bantam Doubleday Dell (first published 1968)
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Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-american
This book is one of the several books I planned on reading to help fill in some of the woeful gaps in my knowledge of the Civil Rights movement. I now know more about Eldridge Cleaver through his collection of short essays, covering diverse topics such as Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, the sexual politics of race, war and politics, from Soul on Ice.

Cleaver’s writing is extremely infuriating yet it’s hard to stop reading. Cleaver’s views are so old-fashioned, homophobic, and misogynistic and, at times,
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: White people.
Recommended to Alan by: White people.
Eldridge Cleaver, aside from being Minister of Information for the Black Panthers, was one of the world's true fucking freaks. A serial rapist and homophobe--"homosexuality is a disease, like baby rape or the deisire to be president of General Motors"--he also happens to be freakishly brilliant. He also seems to be one of those rare few who, forced by some explosive admixture of clarity, feeling, and a bizarre kind of honor, live out in their bodies the physical logic of their ideas.

If the 60s
This is absolutely one of the the most overrated books of all time. Soul on Ice is a collection of outdated essays, along with a few love letters to his attorney written while Cleaver was serving time for being a serial rapist. Cleaver shows a poor understanding of the political workings of the elites, the reasons why many middle and working class whites are "racists", and virtually every other thing he opens his mouth on with one major exception. His observations about the disturbing mental and ...more
Aug 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin by saying that when I read this book, I was very young. A lot of what I learned with this reading, was admittedly violent and based in misogyny. But everything I learned here was so different from anything my parents, church, and school taught that it sent me looking into all kinds of other "missions".

As a result of reading this book, I have also read THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X, MEIN KAMPF, WHY DO WHITE GUYS HAVE ALL THE FUN, THE CLANSMAN, and THE LEOPARD'S SPOTS (to name a few
Miles Winston
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel compelled to try to negate the overwhelmingly negative atmosphere on this page of Goodreads reviews, and to try to do so as convincingly as one person can amidst such abundant ignorance. There is a lot of whining, derision, mockery, and whatever going on here, and it simply does the book one grave injustice after another. This is not a children's book, or even one for young adults, so if you approach this book set in an immature frame of mind, set in your own conception of how the world i ...more
Jan Rice
I looked for this book yesterday, and I found it where I remembered it as having been. That in itself is a small miracle. Usually a decision to look for a book is the kiss of death as far as finding it. Typically I will then find the book six months or a couple of years later when looking for another one. As you can imagine I don't have much of a shelving system. But this one was where it should have been. Maybe more than a small miracle. We moved into this house in 1977 but the room where the b ...more
AJ Griffin
Jul 03, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: your grandparents
Step Two in my attempts to not be a racial invalid. This book, which if I remember correctly was mostly written in prison from a rape conviction, does not do much to promote the "we're really all the same" attitude; in my naivety, I was probably surprised to hear this coming from a black guy. It was undoubtedly also the first time I heard negative opinions of The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. from someone who wasn't a certified white supremacist.

Mr. Cleaver makes no attempt to smooth o
Czarny Pies
Jan 05, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those anxious to face their youthful follies squarely.
Recommended to Czarny by: Rolling Stone.
I really should give this revolting book this book five stars, instead of one, in recognition of the fact that it demonstrated what idiocy I am capable of. I belong in other words to the generation that read this book, recommended it highly to everyone for two years and spent the next forty years being highly embarrassed about having done so.

Eldridge Cleaver was a serial rapist who said he enjoyed committing the act more with white women than black. He was also a homophobe and an advocate of vio
Jonathan Maas
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible. Though some of the specifics of Eldridge Cleaver's ideology are a bit dated, his overall intellect shines through in this tome that shares uncomfortable truths about not only Western society, but modern society in general.

The best part of this is the story of Cleaver himself. Was a criminal until he was sent to prison, and then he started to read, and read and read. Bang - all of a sudden he's writing critiques of Norman Mailer (Author), James Baldwin and more - and his words have an
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've never liked Eldridge Cleaver.

There's a fascinating anecdote in the Wikipedia article about Cleaver: It claims that he applied for a technical writer position at Apple Computer in 1980; his resume listed a single publication, this book. Apple's documentation staff had read the book, evidently didn't want to work with a sociopath, and therefore declined to hire him.
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Leroy Eldridge Cleaver, better known as Eldridge Cleaver, was a writer and political activist who became an early leader of the Black Panther Party.

In 1958 he was put in jail for rape. There he was given a copy of The Communist Manifesto. When he got released he joined the Black Panther Party. He then joined the Oakland-based Black Panther Party, serving as Minister of Information, or spokesperso
More about Eldridge Cleaver...
“I know that sometimes people fake on each other out of genuine motives to hold onto the object of their tenderest feelings. They see themselves as so inadequate that they feel forced to wear a mask in order to continuously impress the other. I do not want to "hold" you, I want you to "stay" out of your own need for me.” 32 likes
“Ah, what sights and sounds and pain lie beneath that mist. And we had thought that our hard climb out of that cruel valley led to some cool, green and peaceful, sunlit place---but it's all jungle here, a wild and savage wilderness that's overrun with ruins. But put on your crown, my Queen, and we will build a New City on these ruins.” 7 likes
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