The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate Over Race in America (Paperback)

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The 1965 debate over race in America between Buckley and Baldwin resolved nothing even as it shone a spotlight on the seeming intractable positions of white and Black Americans.

— From Black History Past/Black History Present-Jon Grand's List


How the legendary debate between a civil rights firebrand and the father of modern conservatism illuminates America's racial divide

On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to witness a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America's most influential conservative intellectual. The topic was the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro, and no one who has seen the debate can soon forget it. Nicholas Buccola's The Fire Is upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men illuminates the racial divide that continues to haunt America today.

About the Author

Nicholas Buccola is the author of The Political Thought of Frederick Douglass. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and many other publications. He is the Elizabeth and Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Twitter @buccola_nick

Product Details
ISBN: 9780691210773
ISBN-10: 0691210772
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020
Pages: 504
Language: English