The Fire Next Time

Library binding

English language

Published Oct. 5, 1963 by Franklin Watts.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, "The Fire Next Time" galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort 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 presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.

19 editions

don't put it off

5 stars

Short enough I'm not sure it's worth summarizing - the opening 7 page letter to his nephew covers nearly all the ground the following essay bores into - but in short, integration won't truly happen until white people take the log out of their own eye about their shortcomings and intolerance, and black people are going to have to keep suffering for it - but there is no future path for America except integration and living together in love that goes well beyond what religion practices in America. Extremely relevant to this day.

Review of 'James Baldwin. Steve Schapiro. The Fire Next Time' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Un livre dont j'ai entendu parler à deux ou trois reprises ces derniers mois et que j'ai enfin pris la peine de lire. Je ne le regrette absolument pas, tant cette lecture a eu un effet coup de poing pour moi.

Dans une première courte lettre adressée à son neveu adolescent, puis une seconde lettre plus longue, l'écrivain noir américain James Baldwin évoque, au début des années 1960, la question raciale aux Etats-Unis. C'est passionnant, instructif, incisif, choquant, et cela fait forcément réfléchir l'homme blanc que je suis. C'est certainement l'une de mes lectures marquantes de l'année 2020.


  • Discrimination & Racism
  • Children's 12-Up - Sociology