The Fire Is Upon Us
James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America
Princeton University Press 2019
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network October 30, 2019 James West
Nicholas Buccola’s new book, The Fire Is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America (Princeton University Press, 2019), uses the iconic debate between Baldwin and Buckley which took place at the Cambridge Union in February 1965 as an entry point into their own lives and their place within the post black freedom struggle and the rise of the modern conservative movement. A timely and eloquent contribution, The Fire is Upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate America’s racial divide today.
James West is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in American History at Northumbria University. He is a historian of the modern United States. For more information please visit https://www.ejameswest.com