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Rebellion or Revolution?

2009
Author:

Harold Cruse
Foreword by Cedric Johnson

Rebellion or Revolution?

A classic work of African American cultural, social, and political thought by a forerunner of the Black Power movement

Rebellion or Revolution? collects reviews and essays Harold Cruse wrote between 1950 and 1966 and contains a number of significant writings not available elsewhere. Now this work emerges as both an essential document from a crucial moment in African American history and a road map to the origins and evolution of Cruse’s critical thought, asserting its importance in today’s debates on race in America.

Rebellion or Revolution? contains brilliant analyses of the difficulties in extracting from Western revolutionary philosophy a workable political program for African Americans.

New York Review of Books, 1968

One of the leading writers of African American intellectual life in the second half of the twentieth century, Harold Cruse first came to international attention in 1967 with the publication of his influential and inflammatory book, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual. This fiercely opinionated and deeply informed critique of both integrationism and black nationalism established Cruse as a bold new voice on race and resistance in America.

First published in the wake of The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual’s success, Rebellion or Revolution? collects reviews and essays Cruse wrote between 1950 and 1966, examining the relevance of such figures as James Baldwin, Booker T. Washington, Albert Camus, and Josephine Baker, as well as such subjects as Marxism and the African American community, the economics of black nationalism, and the emerging Black Power movement. Rebellion or Revolution? contains a number of significant writings not available elsewhere.

Now, with a new foreword by Cedric Johnson, this work finally emerges as both an essential document from a crucial moment in African American history and a road map to the origins and evolution of Cruse’s critical thought, asserting its importance in today’s debates on race in America.

Rebellion or Revolution?

Harold Cruse (1916–2005) was a social critic, essayist, and teacher of African American studies at the University of Michigan.

Cedric Johnson is associate professor of African American studies and political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of Revolutionaries to Race Leaders: Black Power and the Making of African American Politics (Minnesota, 2007).

Rebellion or Revolution?

Rebellion or Revolution? contains brilliant analyses of the difficulties in extracting from Western revolutionary philosophy a workable political program for African Americans.

New York Review of Books, 1968

Rebellion or Revolution? along with his first book establish Harold Cruse as one of the most interesting and original social thinkers today. . . . There is much that is rich and provocative in this book.

Library Journal, 1968