Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Begin Again
Cover of Begin Again
Begin Again
James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own
Borrow Borrow
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A powerful study of how to bear witness in a moment when America is being called to do the same.”—Time
 
James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. What can we learn from his struggle in our own moment?
 
Named one of the best books of the year by Time, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune • Winner of the Stowe Prize • Shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice
 
“Not everything is lost. Responsibility cannot be lost, it can only be abdicated. If one refuses abdication, one begins again.”—James Baldwin
 
Begin Again is one of the great books on James Baldwin and a powerful reckoning with America’s ongoing failure to confront the lies it tells itself about race. Just as in Baldwin’s “after times,” argues Eddie S. Glaude Jr., when white Americans met the civil rights movement’s call for truth and justice with blind rage and the murders of movement leaders, so in our moment were the Obama presidency and the birth of Black Lives Matter answered with the ascendance of Trump and the violent resurgence of white nationalism.
 
In these brilliant and stirring pages, Glaude finds hope and guidance in Baldwin as he mixes biography—drawn partially from newly uncovered Baldwin interviews—with history, memoir, and poignant analysis of our current moment to reveal the painful cycle of Black resistance and white retrenchment. As Glaude bears witness to the difficult truth of racism’s continued grip on the national soul, Begin Again is a searing exploration of the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A powerful study of how to bear witness in a moment when America is being called to do the same.”—Time
 
James Baldwin grew disillusioned by the failure of the civil rights movement to force America to confront its lies about race. What can we learn from his struggle in our own moment?
 
Named one of the best books of the year by Time, The Washington Post, and the Chicago Tribune • Winner of the Stowe Prize • Shortlisted for the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice
 
“Not everything is lost. Responsibility cannot be lost, it can only be abdicated. If one refuses abdication, one begins again.”—James Baldwin
 
Begin Again is one of the great books on James Baldwin and a powerful reckoning with America’s ongoing failure to confront the lies it tells itself about race. Just as in Baldwin’s “after times,” argues Eddie S. Glaude Jr., when white Americans met the civil rights movement’s call for truth and justice with blind rage and the murders of movement leaders, so in our moment were the Obama presidency and the birth of Black Lives Matter answered with the ascendance of Trump and the violent resurgence of white nationalism.
 
In these brilliant and stirring pages, Glaude finds hope and guidance in Baldwin as he mixes biography—drawn partially from newly uncovered Baldwin interviews—with history, memoir, and poignant analysis of our current moment to reveal the painful cycle of Black resistance and white retrenchment. As Glaude bears witness to the difficult truth of racism’s continued grip on the national soul, Begin Again is a searing exploration of the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter One

    The Lie

    James Baldwin and Stokely Carmichael first met during the heady days of the movement to desegregate the South. Carmichael was a young activist and a member of a student group at Howard University called the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG), which sought to combat racism and segregation in Washington, D.C., and in the surrounding areas of Virginia and Maryland. NAG offered a snapshot of the civil rights movement’s future: Carmichael’s fellow students in the group included Courtland Cox, Michael Thelwell, Muriel Tillinghast, and Ruth Brown, all of whom would go on to be influential leaders in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). On Howard’s campus, NAG sponsored a series of programs called Project Awareness, which was designed to explore the full complexity and richness of black life and to engage the controversies surrounding the black freedom movement. It was through these programs that James Baldwin was invited to campus.

    During the spring semester of 1963, after the violent response directed at the movement in Birmingham, the group organized a symposium about the role and responsibility of the black writer in the civil rights struggle. They invited Baldwin, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, novelists John O. Killens and Ralph Ellison, and actor and playwright Ossie Davis. Ellison sent his regrets, and Hansberry was too ill to attend, but students packed the auditorium. Baldwin had just finished a speaking tour on behalf of the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), and this audience was hungry to hear him speak. Malcolm X, in town by happenstance, dropped in to hear Jimmy hold forth. “Whenever I hear that this little brother is going to speak in any town where I am,” he said, “I always make a point of going to listen, because I learn something.”

    Baldwin didn’t disappoint. He was a captivating speaker, with a powerful, almost hypnotic cadence; if the desire to be a preacher had long ago left him, his ability to hold a crowd in his hand had not. “It is the responsibility of the Negro writer to excavate the real history of this country . . . to tell us what really happened to get us where we are now,” he boldly declared from the stage at Howard. “We must tell the truth till we can no longer bear it.”

    After the symposium ended, Baldwin, Killens, and Davis joined a group of students in the small, cramped apartment of a few NAG members. The hour was late. Jimmy needed a glass of Johnnie Walker Black, but the liquor stores were closed. Someone knew a bootlegger. The impromptu rap session went on until sunrise. “Our older brothers reasoned with us like family,” Carmichael, who would become known as Kwame Ture, later recalled, even though he confused the date of the panel and the subsequent events. “We had three years of struggle behind us,” he said. “So was the March on Washington and Dr. King’s Dream. John F. Kennedy had recently been gunned down. The national mood was sore, tense, and uncertain, as was our mood.” Everyone understood the burden the students carried on their shoulders. Despite their relative youth, they had already confronted the brutality of the South in an effort to desegregate lunch counters and to register black people to vote. Many had been beaten and chased down dusty roads in Mississippi and Alabama by the Klan and by white sheriffs. These students were the shock troops of the civil rights movement, and many suffered from the trauma induced by a region and a country reluctant to change. Pessimism and rage threatened to overwhelm them.

    Baldwin worried about...
About the Author-
  • Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Princeton University and author of Democracy in Black.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 17, 2020
    This erudite take frames the election of Donald Trump to replace America’s first black president as a “betrayal” analogous to the rise of Richard Nixon’s “so-called silent majority” following the collapse of the civil rights movement and looks to James Baldwin’s post-1968 writings for lessons in navigating the current political moment. Princeton University professor Glaude (Democracy in Black) explores how Baldwin’s focus shifted from “the gaze of white America” to the “well-being and future of black people” in his later work, including No Name in the Street (1972) and the documentary film I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1982), and contends that living in Istanbul gave Baldwin the privacy necessary to “reimagine hope” in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Glaude also details Baldwin’s complex relationship with the Black Power movement and his “prescient view” of the impact of mass incarceration on African-Americans. Applying these insights to the Black Lives Matter movement, debates over the removal of Confederate monuments, and modern-day identity politics, Glaude at times seems to be trying to fit three books into one. Nevertheless, he makes an effective and impassioned case for those dismayed by Trumpism to remain committed to building “a genuine democratic community where we all can flourish.” Progressives and fans of Baldwin’s work will savor this perceptive reappraisal.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from March 1, 2020
    A penetrating study of how the words of James Baldwin (1924-1987) continue to have (often painful) relevance today. Glaude, a frequent guest on political talk shows and chair of the African American Studies department at Princeton, has long read, admired, and taught Baldwin's work. In this follow-up to his 2016 book, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, the author mines that work to illustrate our ongoing inability to confront what both Baldwin and Glaude call the lie at the center of our American self-conception and how the nation refuses "to turn its back on racism and to reach for its better angels." Glaude employs a blend of genres: some biography of Baldwin (the text ends at Baldwin's gravesite), literary analysis of key works, memoir (first-person appears throughout), and pieces of American history, especially those events that many of us don't want to think about. Repeatedly, the author examines "the ugliness of who we are"--and of the men we have elected president (Reagan and Trump do not come off well). In prose that is eloquent and impassioned--sometimes hopeful, sometimes not--the author presses his fingers on our bruises, the ones many of us would prefer to ignore. Among his many topics: Martin Luther King Jr. and how his murder both elevated his status and began to create the myth that conceals much of the truth about him; the civil rights movement and how many of its gains have been lost; the mass incarceration epidemic and what the author believes are the legally sanctioned murders of young black men. Much of the focus, of course, is on Baldwin: his literary rise, his years abroad (France, Turkey), and how, later in life, he continued to sell well but had lost the approval of many key literary critics. Both Baldwin and Glaude argue that we must begin again. Baldwin's genius glimmers throughout as Glaude effectively demonstrates how truth does not die with the one who spoke it.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2020

    The persisting problem of race lies at the core of malaise in the United States, argues Glaude (African American studies, Princeton Univ.; Democracy in Black). In this book spanning memoir, history, and cultural analysis, he asks the nation to confront the legacy of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. To clarify where the country has come from and failed to go, Glaude revisits what James Baldwin witnessed and remarked on in In the Fire Next Time (1963) and No Name in the Street (1972) works exposing dark realities of the nation's racial ferment. Glaude excavates the rubble and ruin of the nation's contradictions and failures, alongside a personal journey of self-discovery. Most importantly, Glaude writes about our collective responsibility to navigate disappointments, harness rage, and live with faith that good works can result in the triumph of "the better angels of our nature." VERDICT This is not an easy read for those wanting easy answers about race. Instead, it is a book about moral reckoning, owning up to failed choices, and making an effort to choose better ones. For all interested in uncovering how we got here, and how much further we have to go.--Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe

    Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Crown
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Begin Again
Begin Again
James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own
Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel