Revolution Or Death: The Life of Eldridge Cleaver (Lawrence Hill Books, 2020) is a remarkable biography that examines the notorious Black revolutionary meticulously within the context of his changing times.
Charismatic, brilliant, and courageous, Eldridge Cleaver built a base of power and influence that struck fear deep in the heart of White America. It was therefore shocking to many left-wing radicals when Cleaver turned his back on Black revolution, the Nation of Islam, and communism in 1975.
How can we make sense of Cleaver's precipitous decline from a position as one of America's most vibrant Black writers and activists? And how do his contradictory identities as criminal, party leader, international diplomat, Christian conservative, and Republican politician reveal that he was more than just a traitor to the advancement of civil rights?
Author Justin Gifford obtained exclusive access to declassified files from the French police, the American embassy, and the FBI, as well as Kathleen Cleaver’s archive, to answer these questions about a man far more compelling and complex than anyone has given him credit for.
In a country defined by its extreme political positions on the right and left, Cleaver embodied both ideologies in pursuit of his conflicting ideals.
Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com.
Kirk Meighoo is Public Relations Officer for the United National Congress, the Official Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago. His career has spanned media, academia, and politics for three decades.