Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is the autor of Democracy in Black and a professor at Princeton University, teaching in the religion department and the Department of African American Studies. He is a regular contributor to MSNBC.
In this powerful and elegant book on James Baldwin, Eddie Glaude weaves together a biography, a meditation, a literary analysis, and a moral essay on America. Like Baldwin's own essays and books, it is at times both loving and angry, challenging and uplifting, and always beautiful. Both Baldwin and this book speak directly to today. --Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and Leonardo da Vinci Begin Again is an unparalleled masterpiece of social criticism. Glaude thinks alongside America's finest essayist, matching the master's firepower, brilliance, courage, and sensitivity at every turn. He pushes, prods and disrobes history, forcing us to face uncomfortable truths and insisting upon our better inheritances. Glaude's stunningly crafted prose--incisive, vulnerable, and beautiful--is as breathtaking as his brilliance. This book is precisely the witness we need for our treacherous times. --Imani Perry, author of Breathe and Looking for Lorraine In this searing, provocative, and ultimately hopeful book, Eddie Glaude, Jr., takes us on a fascinating journey through the mind and heart of James Baldwin. But a parallel odyssey through Glaude's own formidable mind and generous heart unfolds as well--an odyssey that tells us much about the way we live now and how we might come to live if we could, to borrow a phrase of Lincoln's, think anew and act anew. One need not agree with everything in these pages to learn much from them, and for Americans seeking to understand our past, our present, and the possible futures before us, Begin Again challenges, illuminates, and points us toward, if not a more perfect union, at least a more just one. --Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America and Destiny and Power In the marrow of Eddie Glaude's Begin Again is a rugged literary miracle. In evocative prose, Glaude showed me how we might use the unexceptional yet brutal nightmare of Trumpism to not simply better understand the work and life of James Baldwin, but how that discovery must also lead us as people, not simply as a nation, to 'begin again' and walk collectively toward actual liberation. --Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy In the midst of an ugly Trump regime and a beautiful Baldwin revival, Eddie Glaude has plunged to the profound depths and sublime heights of Baldwin's prophetic challenge to our present-day crisis. This book is, undoubtedly, the best treatment we have of Baldwin's genius and relevance. Glaude's masterpiece puts a smile on Baldwin's face from the grave even as Baldwin weeps for us in this grim moment! With subtle brilliance and heartfelt tears, Glaude breaks bread with Baldwin in order to give us courage and hope! --Cornel West, author of Democracy Matters and Race Matters Eddie Glaude is such a terrific writer. In Begin Again, as he wrestles with James Baldwin's work and fraught relationship to the United States, Glaude's work is urgent, pained, and strangely hopeful. He is issuing a call to reckoning: not just with the dishonesty of America's founding promises, but with the tolls that its intrinsic racism has taken on the artists and thinkers who have come before. Glaude reminds readers of the inescapability of struggle and of the responsibility of consciousness, making explicit how our history underpins our current political moment. It's a great book. --Rebecca Traister, author of and Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger How often, amid the ongoing violence and division of our current chapter of American history, have I been made to recall not only the piercing brilliance of James Baldwin, but also his discomfiting prescience? 'An old world is dying, ' he wrote in No Name in the Street, 'and a new one, kicking in the belly of its mother, time, announces that it is ready to be born.' The magic of Begin Again is that it allows us to ponder Baldwin both in his perilous era and in our own. Remarkable, and remarkably relevant. --Tracy K. Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Life on Mars Begin Again is a magnificent book filled with the type of passion, lyricism, and fire that James Baldwin commands and deserves. Eddie Glaude Jr. takes us on a unique and illuminating journey through Baldwin's life and writings by both physically and philosophically following in his footsteps. In this phenomenal work, we are treated to a timeless and spellbinding conversation between two brilliant writers, thinkers, and active witnesses, addressing issues--past, present, and future--that are necessary, urgent, and vital for our survival. --Edwidge Danticat, author of Brother, I'm Dying and Everything Inside