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Nicholas Buccola

Oct 30, 2019

The Fire Is Upon Us

James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America

Princeton University Press 2019

purchase at 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

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James West

James West is a historian of race, media and business in the modern United States and Black diaspora. Author of "Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.: Popular Black History in Postwar America" (Illinois, 2020), "A House for the Struggle: The Black Press and the Built Environment in Chicago" (Illinois, 2022), "Our Kind of Historian: The Work and Activism of Lerone Bennett Jr. (Massachusetts, 2022).

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