96. A Lover’s War: James Baldwin

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In The Fire Next Time and other writings, the essayist and novelist James Baldwin seeks to dispel the illusions surrounding racial and sexual difference.



Further Reading

• J. Baldwin, The Price of the Ticket: Collected Nonfiction, 1948-1985 (New York: 1985).

• J. Baldwin, Collected Essays (New York: 1998).

• J. Baldwin, Early Novels and Stories (New York: 1998).


• L. Balfour, Evidence of Things Not Said: James Baldwin and the Promise of American Democracy (Ithaca: 2001).

• J. Campbell, Talking at the Gates: A Life of James Baldwin (Berkeley: 2002).

• M. Elam (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to James Baldwin (Cambridge: 2015).

• D. Field (ed.), A Historical Guide to James Baldwin (New York: 2009).

• G. Farred, “Love is Asymmetrical: James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time,” Critical Philosophy of Race 3 (2015), 284-304.

• D. Leeming, James Baldwin: A Biography (New York: 1994).

• D.A. McBride (ed.), James Baldwin Now (New York: 1999).

• S.J. McWilliams (ed.), A Political Companion to James Baldwin (Lexington: 2017).

• C. Winks, “Into the Heart of the Great Wilderness: Understanding Baldwin’s Quarrel with Négritude,” African American Review 46 (2013), 605-14.


Video of the debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley

This episode was written while listening to Baldwin’s record collection


T. George on 3 May 2022

Great episode! I knew of…

Great episode! I knew of Baldwin but had never read any of his work. I am looking into it now. Fascinating stuff. He may be a bit “left” of me, but he has the ability to deliver a metaphysical gut-punch so smoothly that one cannot help but be drawn into self-examination. If, of course, one is intellectually honest and a bit brave.

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