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Davies, Carole Boyce. Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones. Durham. 2008. Duke University Press. 9780822341161. 311 pages. paperback. Cover photograph - Claudia Jones in 1948. 


9780822341161FROM THE PUBLISHER -

In LEFT OF KARL MARX, Carole Boyce Davies assesses the activism, writing, and legacy of Claudia Jones (1915-1964), a pioneering Afro-Caribbean radical intellectual, dedicated communist, and feminist. Jones is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetary, to the left of Karl Marx - a location that Boyce Davies finds fitting given how Jones expanded Marxism-Leninism to incorporate gender and race in her political critique and activism. ‘Carole Boyce Davies has rendered a unique service in restoring to proper recognition the life and achievements of the Trinidad-born political activist and feminist Claudia Jones. From the turbulent struggles of Harlem, U.S.A. in the 1930s and 1940s to London in the 1950s and 1960s, Claudia Jones became a symbol of resistance and the standard by which others would measure their own integrity of commitment. LEFT OF KARL MARX is the biography of an era of the most intense ideological combat - where reputations were assassinated and careers erased by a single rumor of incorrect political affiliation. Here is the story of a singular triumph whose legacy has nourished the lives of another generation.’ - George Lamming, author of IN THE CASTLE OF MY SKIN and THE PLEASURES OF EXILE. . . ‘This book fills a lacuna in the historical understanding of black left radicalism and socialist-oriented feminism in the United States and the Caribbean. In this era of twenty-first-century corporate globalization, it reunites us with a transnational radical and anti-capitalist past through the examination of the extraordinary life, work, and political philosophy of Claudia Jones. This work reminds us that the U.S. and British radical traditions had diverse memberships, which included black, communist, and feminist women of whom Trinidad-born Claudia Jones was a remarkable example. Carole Boyce Davies has given us a well researched, detailed analysis of this communist, feminist, intellectual, activist, and artistic woman of Caribbean origin. This is a long-awaited treasure for which many will be eternalh grateful.’ - Rhoda E. Reddock, author of INTERROGATING CARIBBEAN MASCULINITIES. . . ‘Carole Boyce Davies has vividly brought to life the work and struggles of Claudia Jones in the U.S.A. and Great Britain in her new book, LEFT OF KARL MARX. Boyce Davies possesses that unique combination of being both a scholarly researcher and a writer capable of clear and persuasive language. The reader is presented with a remarkably readable and informative study of a woman who was equally adept in her writing and public speaking on feminism, and as a social pioneer, a political analyst, and an avowed adversary of racism. This book removes Claudia Jones from the shadow of the great bust of Marx to the front row of the black activists and thinkers of the twentieth century, and that is where she belongs.’ - Donald Hinds, author of JOURNEY TO AN ILLUSION: THE WEST INDIAN IN BRITAIN.

 

Davies Carole BoyceCarole Boyce Davies is a professor of English and Africana Studies. She has held distinguished professorships at a number of institutions, including the Herskovits Professor of African Studies and Professor of Comparative Literary Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern University. She is the author of Black Women, Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject (Routledge, 1994) and Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones (Duke University Press, 2008). In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Boyce Davies has also published the following critical anthologies: Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature (Africa World Press, 1986); Out of the Kumbla: Caribbean Women and Literature (Africa World Press, 1990); and a two-volume collection of critical and creative writing entitled Moving Beyond Boundaries (New York University Press, 1995): International Dimensions of Black Women’s Writing (volume 1), and Black Women’s Diasporas (volume 2). She is co-editor with Ali Mazrui and Isidore Okpewho of The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities (Indiana University Press, 1999) and Decolonizing the Academy: African Diaspora Studies (Africa World Press, 2003). She is general editor of the three-volume, The Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora (Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2008), and of Claudia Jones: Beyond Containment: Autobiography, Essays, Poetry (Banbury: Ayebia, 2011). Her most recent monograph is Caribbean Spaces: Escape Routes from Twilight Zones (Illinois, 2013) and a children’s book, Walking (EducaVision, 2016).

 

 

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