96. A Lover’s War: James Baldwin

Posted on 20 March 2022

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 2 May 2022

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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