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James Baldwin cover art

James Baldwin

By: David Leeming
Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
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Summary

This is a biography of James Baldwin, author, one-time preacher, and civil rights activist. He chose David Leeming, a close friend and colleague, to write his biography and granted him access to his correspondence. Leeming traces his life from his birth in Harlem in 1924 to his self-imposed exile in Europe, his later years as political activist, and his public funeral in 1987.

©1994 David Leeming, First Arcade Edition 2015 (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about James Baldwin

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Must try harder

A worthy and pedestrian biography of a figure whose times are more interesting than his life. James Cronin could not have been more ill chosen as the narrator of this book, as it bristles with French place names and titles of books, and French is clearly a language as unfamiliar to him as a dialect from Mars. There are few French terms that Cronin fails to get wrong. Leeming’s biography needed, but failed to find, a good editor. His synopses of Baldwin’s books rarely rise above the level of tutorial notes. But there is much interesting information about B’s involvement with the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and the book is worth reading for these passages alone.

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11 people found this helpful

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inspiring, tragic and heroic

A well written and performed audio book. Baldwin is an inspiring and heroic figure . His life seemed to me to be a striving for the freedom to love and be loved, personally and nationally. I recognise the messy contradictions, hopes and despair of this all too familiar feature of human experience. There is often a tragic undertone to this necessary struggle and this is clear in Baldwin's life and times.

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6 people found this helpful

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James Baldwin Review

l found this book very good and a greater understanding of a complex genius, and a man of love without exception!!!!

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5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

James is a true visionary

You may need to read James's stories, letters and poems before you get into this book. It feels like its telling the life of James through his stories. There is lots of references to the stories he wrote, what they meant to him and how he saw the world through those stories. Overall, its a powerful book and I have so much respect and love for the man James Baldwin.

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4 people found this helpful

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A must read

This biography could only have been written by a close friends. I must say that I have learned not only of the life and work of this black man but it has sparked a fire in me. It is easy to identify with Jimmy his creativity, austere mind but the problems with managing identity - black, gay, foreigner, native and the struggles of the human condition. The passion for involved in communicating a message for all.

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3 people found this helpful

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Echoes of life.

in my listening of this work, I ask myself questions of my truth ? Myself.

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An Awesome insight

An awesome insight into the turbulent and creative life of of one of the the civil rights movements most spoken leaders! Arrest listen and well narrated!

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2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and moving

I didn't know too much about James Baldwin but what a story his life was! Living through some of the most difficult years of American history (although when you think about it they've all been pretty difficult), he was a witness to that history, and wrote as a prophet to his people.

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wonderful

a fantastic in depth biography. I listened whilst travelling around Thailand, really couldn't put it down. I understand why James Baldwin resonated with me when I discovered him by accident in my 20's. I love his philosophy of life & love. thank you writer & narrator

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A mind challenging journey

Only knowing the man through hearing his name over many years, I found his soul, his inner-self and his thoughts opened another chapter in my own mind. Complicated people seem to possess an internal blender that whirls and chops and processes until the final closing of the eyes.

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1 person found this helpful