Read The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of the Failure of Black Leadership by Harold Cruse Online

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Published in 1967, as the early triumphs of the Civil Rights movement yielded to increasing frustration and violence, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual electrified a generation of activists and intellectuals. The product of a lifetime of struggle and reflection, Cruse's book is a singular amalgam of cultural history, passionate disputation, and deeply considered analysiPublished in 1967, as the early triumphs of the Civil Rights movement yielded to increasing frustration and violence, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual electrified a generation of activists and intellectuals. The product of a lifetime of struggle and reflection, Cruse's book is a singular amalgam of cultural history, passionate disputation, and deeply considered analysis of the relationship between American blacks and American society. Reviewing black intellectual life from the Harlem Renaissance through the 1960s, Cruse discusses the legacy (and offers memorably acid-edged portraits) of figures such as Paul Robeson, Lorraine Hansberry, and James Baldwin, arguing that their work was marked by a failure to understand the specifically American character of racism in the United States. This supplies the background to Cruse's controversial critique of both integrationism and black nationalism and to his claim that black Americans will only assume a just place within American life when they develop their own distinctive centers of cultural and economic influence. For Cruse's most important accomplishment may well be his rejection of the clich?s of the melting pot in favor of a vision of Americanness as an arena of necessary and vital contention, an open and ongoing struggle....

Title : The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of the Failure of Black Leadership
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ISBN : 9781590171356
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 616 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of the Failure of Black Leadership Reviews

  • Justin Evans
    2018-11-12 09:11

    I'm very glad to have read this book, but good grief was it a chore to get through. Cruse has an interesting argument: that Black American intellectual life (c. 1968) remains hamstrung by its inability to move past allegiances to white communism, nationalism, and integrationism. So far so good. Now imagine someone yelling that at you for 600+ unbearably repetitive pages. Not a pleasant experience, nor a profitable one. Add to this some extraneous, far less useful claims: for instance, his attempt to position Black Americans as nothing less than the subject of American revolutionary politics, while also insisting that no actually existing Black Americans, other than himself, have any frigging idea about anything; or his claim that Harlem, in particular, is the epicenter of that historical subject. It's important to note that Cruse's work is, in some ways, ahead of its time, and is also worth reading for intellectual history purposes. In particular, his insistence on the importance of the media in American politics was a good one. But he makes no positive claims other than "we have to do everything perfectly at once," which isn't so helpful. I don't mind when people don't make positive claims. But if you're going to shred every living soul to pieces, you'd better do *something* other than gesture at a vague utopia.

  • Michael
    2018-11-02 15:49

    This book is densely and elegantly written, and is certainly not a quick read, but it is an interesting look critique of the civil rights movement from a Black nationalist perspective. Written during the late 1960's Cruse focusses almost entirely on Harlem. His analysis stretches from struggles with and within the Communist Party of the 1920's up through the liberalism of the 1960's, with a special focus on culture. He has harsh things to say about a lot of people who are largely celebrated today. An interesting period view of history being made.

  • Eric
    2018-10-27 12:00

    Wow, this book is still so very real and relevant! It was like he wrote it yesterday. If we lived in an intelligent country than this book would be required reading for every body. But as we don't every black college kid should be forced to read it, even though most would not want want too.

  • Fred R
    2018-10-21 13:08

    Don't be put off by the long digressions into obscure leftwing 1920s and 30s history. This is one of the best books written on race and ethnicity in America. A history of race and ethnicity, as Cruse recognizes, is necessarily a history of political and cultural conflict, no matter how sublimated.

  • J.W. Dionysius Nicolello
    2018-10-21 08:48

    I couldn't even skim through this thing without witnessing further banality of Communism, "White folk," "The Jews!!!" &c. Life is terrible. Its levels of futility are figurative. I don't get you, you don't get me. I know, I know, it's shocking. If only you'd realize screaming and blocking traffic on bridges leads to meaningless imprisonment, and that all this time you should have just read Goethe. The library was right there. You've run out of lies.

  • Joi Reece
    2018-11-02 10:57

    This book was a bit difficult to digest. A major reason for this is that the book is essentially a collection of loosely connected essays. Perhaps had I known that before, I would have viewed it through that lens and been better prepared for this type of writing style.That stated, basically this book describes Cruse’s diatribes against the Civil Rights movement for ignoring the economic problems that inundated us then and now. Cruse discusses the legacy of people such as Paul Robeson, Lorraine Hansberry, and James Baldwin, arguing that their work was marked by a failure to understand racism in the United States.With that said, I can’t deny that this book changed the informational axes of the study of black political debate. Cruise was, without doubt, a critical interlocutor.

  • Marsha
    2018-10-26 14:47

    Jealous of his talented friends, Cruse arrogantly disparages some the the great minds and successful writers of the Harlem Renaissance. Cruse details problems without offering any solid solutions. A former Communist, he rails against Communism, West Indians, and Jews. His anti-Semetic rants deepen the murky pool of anger that goes on for around six hundred pages. Read Ralph Ellison or James Baldwin instead. They are two of the great minds he finds fault with.

  • Alan Johnson
    2018-11-11 09:04

    To update this book all that would be required would be to insert the year 2016 and then add the names of the guilty today in place of the social justice actors who initially were the cause for the book to have to be written. Leave commentary and insights as is then at the end tie into the current state of Black leadership today. Shouldn't take more than a week if its called satire.

  • Carmen
    2018-11-11 08:46

    Review to come later...

  • Cath Holden
    2018-11-03 15:50

    For a book written in 1967, it is so reveling today!

  • Dennis Greene
    2018-11-07 11:08

    An invaluable analysis of the struggle of sub-dominant groups to generate self-empowerment in the United States.

  • Laurie
    2018-11-08 12:45

    An excellent argument for the role intellectuals can have in bridging political problems and cultural problems.