C. L. R. James in Imperial Britain by Christian Høgsbjerg
(The C. L. R. James Archives)

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Synopsis

C. L. R. James in Imperial Britain chronicles the life and work of the Trinidadian intellectual and writer C. L. R. James during his first extended stay in Britain, from 1932 to 1938. It reveals the radicalizing effect of this critical period on James's intellectual and political trajectory. During this time, James turned from liberal humanism to revolutionary socialism. Rejecting the "imperial Britishness" he had absorbed growing up in a crown colony in the British West Indies, he became a leading anticolonial activist and Pan-Africanist thinker. Christian Høgsbjerg reconstructs the circumstances and milieus in which James wrote works including his magisterial study The Black Jacobins. First published in 1938, James's examination of the dynamics of anticolonial revolution in Haiti continues to influence scholarship on Atlantic slavery and abolition. Høgsbjerg contends that during the Depression C. L. R. James advanced public understanding of the African diaspora and emerged as one of the most significant and creative revolutionary Marxists in Britain.
 
 

About Christian Høgsbjerg

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Christian Høgsbjerg is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of History at the University of York. He is the editor of a recent edition of C. L. R. James's play Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History, also published by Duke University Press.
 
Published March 7, 2014 by Duke University Press Books. 311 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Black intellectuals and activists, with James among the most articulate, argued the reverse: Every colonial workers’ strike (and there were many in the 1930s), every movement in the colonies toward self-expression, demonstrated to James that these peoples were ready and eager to seize their own d...

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