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The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Historical Analysis of the Failure of Black Leadership [Paperback]

By Harold Cruse & Stanley Crouch (Introduction by)
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Item Number 426334  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   594
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25"
Weight:   1.36 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 30, 2005
Publisher   NYRB Classics
ISBN  1590171357  
EAN  9781590171356  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
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 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.

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More About Harold Cruse & Stanley Crouch

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Harold Cruse (1916-2005) was born in Petersburg, Virginia, the son of a railway porter. He was raised from a young age in New York City, where he attended high school, after which he served with the Army in Europe during World War II. Cruse attended the City College of New York, although he did not graduate, and was a member of the Communist Party for several years. He also wrote a number of plays and, in the 1960s, was co-founder with LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) of the Black Arts Theater and School in Harlem. After publishing The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual in 1967, Cruse was invited to lecture at the University of Michigan, where he taught in the African-American studies program until his retirement as professor emeritus in the mid-1980s. Harold Cruse was also the author of Rebellion or Revolution?, Plural But Equal: A Critical Study of Blacks and Minorities and America's Plural Society, and The Essential Harold Cruse: A Reader.
Stanley Crouch is a columnist, novelist, and essayist. Since 1987 he has served as an artistic consultant at Lincoln Center and is a co-founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is the author of Notes of a Hanging Judge, Don't the Moon Look Lonesome, The All-American Skin Game, Always in Pursuit, and The Artificial White Man.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
*Warning* Stay Away from New Version with Stanley Crouch intro  Oct 8, 2007
It's way beyond disconcerting having to read a reactionary hack like Stanley Crouch sneak his introduction into a book like Harold Cruse's "Crisis of a the Negro Intellectual". In trying to co-op and explain away the radical thought Cruse exemplifies, Crouch comes off as an interloper trying to mute the legacy of an independent intellectual giant.

I prefer any version of this classic other than this latest New York Review of Books printing which gives an unoriginal literary lemur like Crouch free reign to propagandize his views into legitimacy. Get your hands on an "Apollo Edition" or the version published by "Quill"!! Stanley Crouch could easily find a home for his essay in the neo-liberal journal of his choice, but including his introduction as part of the book itself is a travesty. It's the intellectual equivalent of having had Martin Luther King Jr. write the introduction to Frantz Fanon's "Wretched of the Earth."
Below the hype  Aug 7, 2007
Many people have siad this book was a black in black prose. Unfortunately, this book missed so many aspects which added to the Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. Cruse focused basically on Harlem whne most who know anything about black culture know that communities in Atlanta, Wilmington, NC ,and Tulsa, OK were just as if not more prosperous than Harlem. He never even mentioned those communities. People like General Benjamin Davis deserved many more pages than someone like Lorriane Hanesberry. To think of Negro intellectuals and not to mention people like Bayard Rustin or Charles Hamilton Houston is atrocious. I agreed with the fact that the movements must be social, political, and economic all at once. Conversely, he didn't mention the Negro leagues were all black and one of the largest businesses in black America. In addition, the race riots that killed off economic progress in Tulsa and Wilmington(Wilmington even had a powerful black influence in city politics). His book is over 560 pages full of holes because with all his pessimism he barely mention how blacks actually did but his doctrines of belief into use.
The book that changed my intellectual life period  Aug 31, 2006
In this sparwling 500 page book, Cruse lays out his polemics against the Civil Rights movement for ignoring the economic issues that plagued us then and now,acusses black artists for betraying their own cultural gifts to gain wider credibility and lays down the basic ethos of American captialist life.. Every racial group for themselves. And on top of that goes first after black ministers who were more concerned about their own power than uplifting American- Americans and Norman Podhoretz practically calling him a fascist (he is) and the scared cow of all... Saying the so-called Black- Jewish alliance was a sham seeing all this by 1967. Unlike Black intellectuals of today, Cruse spares no one institution in American life in one of the great books in American Thought.

This one book I read 10 years ago along with the "Autobiography of Malcolm X" changed my life and committed me to a life of reading and seeking truth wherever it led me.Cruse who died last year, was America's last great intellectual unlike those today who appear on C-SPAN, Fox and other news outlets being "pop intellectuals" Cruse was searching for truth and solutions in the lives of African- Americans and for that we should be grateful.
He pretty much says it all.  Jul 15, 2005
I don't think Black people can ever have a real conversation about unity until they read this book. Especially the chapter called 'Idealogy in Black'. The book is extremely honest about West Indian, African and African American behavior towards each other which ultimately leads to implosion. He covers everything, The Harlem Renaissance, Communism and many other critical topics but I think his thoughts on why Black movements fail (internal strife/lack of cultural, political and economic direction) are dead on.
necessary for budding minds...  May 4, 2001
after 11 years, i finally got around to reading this book....what i liked about it was cruse put it bluntly that the main job of the negro intellectual/artist was not to be a politician unless they were a politician of times, it seemed that they book was a 500+ page advertisement for the communist party...i didn't realize that so many blacks were marxists....i found the segments of the books where he revealed the shortcomings of paulrobeson as a leader and lorraine hansbury's unwiillingness to write black plays interesting....he also get into detail about the black arts movement, and it's leader, leroi jones. the only complaint i have about books like this is that sometimes reading them feels like your dragging around a ball and chain....but the subjects rewarded my patience...this is a good place to start for the beginning black intellectual...

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