The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (PDF - Online Reading - Download - Summary - Review)


The Fire Next Time is a 1963 nonfiction book by James Baldwin, containing two essays: "My Dungeon Shook: Letter to my Nephew on the 100th Anniversary of the Emancipation" and "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region of My mind".


A powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a haunting examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain.
It consists of two "letters", written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, which calls on Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all delivered in brilliant, searing prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a literary classic.


A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation, gave an impassioned voice to the emerging civil rights movement, and still illuminates the path to understanding race in America today.

About The Author

JAMES BALDWIN (1924-1987) was a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews, and his essay collections Notes of a Native Son and The Fire Next Time were bestsellers that made him an influential figure in the growing civil rights movement. Baldwin spent much of his life in France, where he moved to escape the racism and homophobia of the United States. He died in France in 1987, a year after being made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor.

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The Fire Next Time