Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
James Baldwin and the 1980sWitnessing the Reagan Era$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Joseph Vogel

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041747

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041747.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021



(p.1) Introduction
James Baldwin and the 1980s

Joseph Vogel

University of Illinois Press

This introduction provides an overview of James Baldwin’s work in the 1980s and why it has been overlooked. Against the conventional narrative of Baldwin’s “decline,” a fresh look at his late work reveals a still-razor-sharp, provocative writer who, with the benefit of hindsight, holds up as one of the most prescient observers of the post-civil rights landscape. Indeed, while Baldwin is most often associated with earlier historical moments, he remained prolific in his final decade, publishing his most ambitious novel in 1979 (Just Above My Head), several noteworthy essays and articles (including landmark pieces such as “The Cross of Redemption,” “Notes on the House of Bondage,” “Freaks and the American Ideal of Manhood,” and “To Crush the Serpent”), a collection of poems in 1984 (Jimmy’s Blues), a major nonfiction book in 1985 (The Evidence of Things Not Seen), and arguably his best play (the as-yet unpublished The Welcome Table). In addition, he gave numerous illuminating interviews and speeches, narrated a documentary (I Heard It through the Grapevine), and even collaborated on a spoken-word-music album with jazz musician and composer David Linx (A Lover’s Question).

Keywords:   James Baldwin, 1980s, Ronald Reagan, popular culture, media studies, cultural studies

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.