Pages from a Black Radical's Notebook: A James Boggs Reader

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Wayne State University Press, 2011 - Political Science - 401 pages
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Born in the rural American south, James Boggs lived nearly his entire adult life in Detroit and worked as a factory worker for twenty-eight years while immersing himself in the political struggles of the industrial urban north. During and after the years he spent in the auto industry, Boggs wrote two books, co-authored two others, and penned dozens of essays, pamphlets, reviews, manifestos, and newspaper columns to become known as a pioneering revolutionary theorist and community organizer. In Pages from a Black Radical’s Notebook: A James Boggs Reader, editor Stephen M. Ward collects a diverse sampling of pieces by Boggs, spanning the entire length of his career from the 1950s to the early 1990s.

Pages from a Black Radical’s Notebook is arranged in four chronological parts that document Boggs’s activism and writing. Part 1 presents columns from Correspondence newspaper written during the 1950s and early 1960s. Part 2 presents the complete text of Boggs’s first book, The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook, his most widely known work. In part 3, "Black Power—Promise, Pitfalls, and Legacies," Ward collects essays, pamphlets, and speeches that reflect Boggs’s participation in and analysis of the origins, growth, and demise of the Black Power movement. Part 4 comprises pieces written in the last decade of Boggs’s life, during the 1980s through the early 1990s. An introduction by Ward provides a detailed overview of Boggs’s life and career, and an afterword by Grace Lee Boggs, James Boggs’s wife and political partner, concludes this volume.

Pages from a Black Radical’s Notebook documents Boggs’s personal trajectory of political engagement and offers a unique perspective on radical social movements and the African American struggle for civil rights in the post–World War II years. Readers interested in political and ideological struggles of the twentieth century will find Pages from a Black Radical’s Notebook to be fascinating reading.

 

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Contents

Correspondence Newspaper
37
Viewing Negro History Week 1954
43
The Stage That We Have Reached 1955
50
Who Is for Civilization? 1957
56
What Makes Americans Run 1960
63
A Visit From the FBI 1961
69
The American Revolution
75
Introduction
84
Putting Politics in Command 1970
229
Beyond Rebellion 1972
251
Think Dialectically Not Biologically 1974
264
Toward a New Concept of Citizenship 1976
274
The Next Development in Education 1977
284
Liberation or Revolution? 1978
293
The Challenge Facing AfroAmericans in the 1980s 1979
306
Community Building and Grassroots Leadership
315

The Challenge of Automation 700
100
The Classless Society
106
Peace and War
120
The Decline of the United States Empire
126
The American Revolution
139
Black Power Promise Pitfalls and Legacies
145
Liberalism Marxism and Black Political Power 1963
157
A Scientific Concept Whose Time Has Come 1967 777
171
Culture and Black Power 1967 780
180
Manifesto for a Black Revolutionary Party 1969 795
186
Letter to Friends and Comrades 1984
322
An Idea Whose Time Has Come 1987
331
An Alternative to Casino Gambling 1988
341
We Must Stop Thinking Like Victims 1990
347
A No Vote Will Say Detroiters Want to Save Whats Left 1991
353
What Can We Be That Our Children Can See? 1991
359
We Can Run But We Cant Hide 1993
365
Afterword by Grace Lee Boggs
371
Index
387
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About the author (2011)

Stephen M. Ward is assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS) and the Residential College.

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