C.L.R. James
1901-1989
January 4, 2011 marks the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birth of Trinidadian intellectual C.L.R. James. His 1938 book on the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint Louverture and the San Domingo Revolution, remains the most seminal work on the topic several decades after its publication. It was amended in the 1960s with a chapter entitled “From Toussaint Louverture to Fidel Castro”. C.L.R. James’ peripatetic life involved travel to England, fifteen years spent in the United States, meeting Leon Trotsky in Mexico, founding the radical Johnson-Forest Tendency, and becoming a sports journalist specializing in cricket. His writings enriched the world of Marxist theory, Caribbean history, post-colonial studies, and sports writing. He authored over 20 works, including Minty Alley, his only novel and the first work of fiction by a Black West Indian to be published in England; a short play whose 1936 West End production starred Paul Robeson as Toussaint L’Ouverture; and Mariners, Renegades and Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live In, a Marxist critique of Moby Dick completed while James was detained in an immigration center in the US, awaiting deportation. 

C.L.R. James

1901-1989

January 4, 2011 marks the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birth of Trinidadian intellectual C.L.R. James. His 1938 book on the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint Louverture and the San Domingo Revolution, remains the most seminal work on the topic several decades after its publication. It was amended in the 1960s with a chapter entitled “From Toussaint Louverture to Fidel Castro”. C.L.R. James’ peripatetic life involved travel to England, fifteen years spent in the United States, meeting Leon Trotsky in Mexico, founding the radical Johnson-Forest Tendency, and becoming a sports journalist specializing in cricket. His writings enriched the world of Marxist theory, Caribbean history, post-colonial studies, and sports writing. He authored over 20 works, including Minty Alley, his only novel and the first work of fiction by a Black West Indian to be published in England; a short play whose 1936 West End production starred Paul Robeson as Toussaint L’Ouverture; and Mariners, Renegades and Castaways: The Story of Herman Melville and the World We Live In, a Marxist critique of Moby Dick completed while James was detained in an immigration center in the US, awaiting deportation. 

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    Diasporic Giants #2: C.L.R. James Pioneering Caribbean intellectual, writer, Marxist theorist and activist. Born in...
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