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on 2 May 2001
This essay collection is divided into two parts: "My Dungeon Shook" and "Down at the Cross". "Dungeon" is the shorter of the two pieces and is addressed to Baldwin's nephew. Baldwin tells his nephew how to survive living in a racist society (USA of 1960's). The second essay in the collection deals with the Black Islam Movement. Baldwin attacks the ideas of this movement and calls for an end to prejudice. The language, imagery, and ideas Baldwin uses in these two essays is absolutely brilliant. This book receives my highest recommendation.
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on 30 September 2009
If anyone doubts that James Baldwin was a pivotal figure in 20th Century American letters, this astonishing little book will remove such doubts forever. Baldwin manages to convey his rage at US WASP-culture without succumbing to the blinding, toxic racism which made the predicament of his people possible in the first place. His plea for tolerance and human decency could only have come from someone who saw how close mid-sixties US society was to anarchic eruption - read it and keep it 'cause it's one you'll return to again and again.
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on 5 December 2015
Baldwin is a truly masterful writer. His words and imagery are powerful, as beautiful as they are harrowing.

The saddest thing is that a lot of Baldwin's commentary on race, inequality, hate and division is still applicable today.

Highly recommended!
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on 13 March 2009
Having read Giovanni's Room and Go Tell It On The Mountain I was still hungry for more Baldwin. He writes some of the most beautiful prose in the English Language that I have ever read. This book, particularly Down At The Cross, is more of a stream of consciousness expressing his deep sadness and rage at the problems of racial injustice in the US - and worldwide. He gives an insightful description of a meeting with the founder of the Nation of Islam and paints a very bleak picture with personal, political and historical detail. I learned more in this short book about the depth of feeling of black Americans regarding their status in America in the early 'sixties than I have anywhere else. A tough read, made more bearable knowing there is now a black president in the Whitehouse. And thank God...
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on 6 June 2014
The Fire Next Time.

James Baldwin is a highly intelligent man who gives a thought provoking insight into religion and the social aspects of life from the African Americans viewpoint & journey in the West. At times upsetting and very serious, but a book of great depth from a truly skilled writer.
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on 1 October 2015
Perceptive, curious, and opinionated (and not without justice). It's one of those few books that manage to shine in few words, and persuade without effort. James Baldwin is a moral giant, and a literary prince, who should be much better known. I can't believe it took me so long to discover him.
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on 13 April 2014
This is an absolute must read book, especially for anyone interested in the history of American slavery, the Civil Rights movement and black American fiction in general.

The kindle version is also well formatted.
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on 12 September 2015
Brilliant writing by a truly one-of-a-kind writer. Recommended reading for anyone interested in race relations and the history of black lives and black movements in the states
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on 16 October 2015
Still as relevant as ever to modern day African contemplating his place in the new world.
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on 3 February 2016
I love this authors writings so good investment for wide range of cultural topics.
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