In Conversation: On James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, weaves biography, memoir, and social and political analysis as he explores […]


In Conversation: On James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own

Authors:Kenneth W. Mack, Eddie S. Glaude Jr.


Eddie S. Glaude Jr., author and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, weaves biography, memoir, and social and political analysis as he explores James Baldwin’s crucible, a place of hope and guidance in this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Speaking with him is historian and Harvard professor Kenneth Mack, author of The New Black: What Has Changed – and What Has Not – with Race in America.

Kenneth W. Mack

Kenneth W. Mack is a historian and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2000. He is a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and worked as an electrical engineer before turning to law, and history. His research and writing have focused on the legal and constitutional history of American race relations. He has written and lectured widely in these areas. He has also written opinion pieces for the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, and other popular media. During the 2008 Presidential election cycle, he was interviewed by a number of national television and print media outlets about his former law school classmate, Barack Obama. Before joining the faculty at Harvard Law School, he clerked for the Honorable Robert L. Carter, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and practiced law in the Washington, D.C. office of the firm, Covington & Burling

Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr. author and James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and author of Democracy in Black. In Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own (Crown) professor Glaude suggests that in the story of Baldwin’s crucible, we can find hope and guidance in this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. In Begin Again, Glaude mixes biography—drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews—with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment and, following Baldwin, bears witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci, praises begin Again as ” a biography, a meditation, a literary analysis, and a moral essay on America. Like Baldwin’s own essays and books, it is at times both loving and angry, challenging and uplifting, and always beautiful. Both Baldwin and this book speak directly to today.”

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