1st Edition

Rethinking Race, Politics, and Poetics
C.L.R. James' Critique of Modernity

ISBN 9781138874695
Published August 19, 2015 by Routledge

USD $56.95

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Book Description

Rethinking Race, Politics, and Poetics offers a critical appraisal of C.L.R. James as a major twentieth-century activist-intellectual, exploring his prolific output spanning decades within genres as diverse as history, philosophy, sociology, literary and cultural criticism, prose fiction, and reportage. The book also analyzes some of the flaws and contradictions that surfaced within James’ writings as a consequence of the difficult circumstances in which he worked and lived as an itinerant migrant intellectual invariably involved with fringe political groups. Assessing James as a lifelong committed Marxist and humanist, the book argues that his core concern with racial, political, and cultural questions as central to human and social understanding led him to develop a distinctive critique of the modern world.

Table of Contents


Modern Epiphanies: C.L.R. James and the Reimagining of Modernity

Chapter 1

‘They brought themselves’: Modernity and the Emergence of the Black Jacobins

Chapter 2

‘Elective Affinities’ and the Intellectual Vocation: Race, Politics, and Poetics

Chapter 3

The Perilous ‘Pleasures of Exile’: Faith, Failed Gods, and the Diasporic Life

Chapter 4

Mapping Spontaneity: The Organic Unity of Self-Activity and Radical Struggles

Chapter 5

‘Freedom is creative universality, not utility’: Sociality and the Cultural Politics of Cricket


‘The Struggle for Happiness’: From Epiphany to Poiesis

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Brett St Louis is Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has published widely on race and racism and is an editorial board member of Ethnic and Racial Studies and New Formations.