Recent Scholarship on Blacks and the Cold War

Recent Scholarship on Blacks and the Cold War

Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters Between Black and Red, 1922–1963.
By Dr. Kate A. Baldwin    
Duke University Press, Nov. 2002
346 pp. $59.95 cloth, ISBN 0-8223-2976-X
$19.95 paper, ISBN 0-8223-2990-5
Examining the significant influence of the Soviet Union on the work of four major African American authors — and on 20th century American debates about race — Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain remaps Black modernism, revealing the importance of the Soviet experience in the formation of a Black transnationalism.
Dr. Kate A. Baldwin is assistant professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.
Left of the Color Line: Race, Radicalism and Twentieth Century Literature of the United States
Edited by Dr. Bill V. Mullen and Dr. James Smethurst  University of North Carolina Press, Oct. 2003 331 pp., $55.00 cloth, ISBN 0-8078-2799-1 $19.95 paper, ISBN 0-8078-5477-8
This collection of 15 new essays explores the impact of the organized Left and Leftist theory on American literature and culture from the 1920s to the present. In particular, the contributors explore the participation of writers and intellectuals on the Left in the development of African American, Chicano/    Chicana, and Asian American literature and culture. By placing the Left at the center of their examination, the authors reposition the interpretive framework of American cultural studies. Dr. Bill V. Mullen is professor of English and co-coordinator of American studies at the University of Texas in San Antonio. Dr. James Smethurst is assistant professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Triple Exposure: Black, Jewish and Red in the 1950s By Dr. Dexter Jeffries Kensington Publishing Corp., April 2003
448pp., $23.00 cloth, ISBN 0-7582-0113-3
Triple Exposure is Dexter Jeffries’ memoir about growing up in New York City at the height of the McCarthy era, the son of a Black father and a White mother, both of whom were members of the American Communist Party. Jeffries writes that his parents’ political affiliation “was one of the factors that made for a dramatic difference in the ways they saw the world, and that legacy cast a certain shadow on my own version of things.” In Triple Exposure Jeffries tries to reconcile this vision with those of the people around him, gaining clarity and insight into what it meant to be from a mixed race family, and in conflict with the politics of most Americans. Dr. Dexter Jeffries is a professor of English at City University of New York and an adjunct professor at Pratt Institute. Spectres of 1919: Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro By Dr. Barbara Foley   University of Illinois Press, Oct. 2003 360 pp. $64.05 cloth,
ISBN: 0252028465

 
With the New Negro movement and the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s was a landmark decade in African American political and cultural history, characterized by an upsurge in racial awareness, artistic creativity and anti-capitalist radicalism. In Spectres of 1919, the author examines 1919, viewing the turbulent year as the political crucible in which the radicalism of the 1920s was forged.
Dr. Barbara Foley is a professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark.



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