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Go Tell It on the Mountain


Go Tell It on the Mountain Cover

ISBN13: 9780440330073
ISBN10: 0440330076
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

James Baldwin's stunning first novel is now an    American classic. With startling realism that brings    Harlem and the black experience vividly to life,     this is a work that touches the heart with emotion    while it stimulates the mind with its narrative    style, symbolism, and excoriating vision of racism    in America. Moving through time from the rural    South to the northern ghetto, starkly contrasting the    attitudes of two generations of an embattles    family, Go Tell It On The Mountain    is an unsurpassed portrayal of human beings caught    up in a dramatic struggle and of a society    confronting inevitable change.

" The most important    novel written about the American Negro, "     says Commentary. " It is written    with poetic intensity and great narrative skill, "     writes Harper's.    Saturday Review praises it as " masterful, "     and the San Francisco Chronicle    declares that this important American novel is    " brutal, objective and compassionate."


James Baldwin's portrayal of black people in Harlem caught up in a dramatic struggle, and of a society confronting inevitable change.

About the Author

James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, and educated in New York. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, appeared in 1953 to excellent reviews and immediately was recognized as establishing a profound and permanent new voice in American letters. "Mountain is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else," he remarked. Baldwin's play The Amen Corner was first performed at Howard University in 1955 (it was staged commercially in the 1960s), and his acclaimed collection of essays Notes of a Native Son, was published the same year. A second collection of essays, Nobody Knows My Name, was published in 1961 between his novels Giovanni's Room (1956) and Another Country (1961).

The appearance of The Fire Next Time in 1963, just as the civil rights movement was exploding across the American South, galvanized the nation and continues to reverberate as perhaps the most prophetic and defining statement ever written of the continuing costs of Americans' refusal to face their own history. It became a national bestseller, and Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time magazine. Critic Irving Howe said that The Fire Next Time achieved "heights of passionate exhortation unmatched in modern American writing." In 1964 Blues for Mister Charlie, his play based on the murder of a young black man in Mississippi, was produced by the Actors Studio in New York. That same year, Baldwin was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and collaborated with the photographer Richard Avedon on Nothing Personal, a series of portraits of America intended as a eulogy for the slain Medger Evers. A collection of short stories, Going to Meet the Man, was published in 1965, and in 1968, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone, his last novel of the 1960s appeared.

In the 1970s he wrote two more collections of essays and cultural criticism: No Name in the Street (1972) and The Devil Finds Work (1976). He produced two novels: the bestselling If Beale Street Could Talk (1974) and Just Above My Head (1979) and also a children's book Little Man, Little Man: A Story of Childhood (1976). He collaborated with Margaret Mead on A Rap on Race (1971) and with the poet-activist Nikki Giovanni on A Dialogue (1973). He also adapted Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X into One Day When I Was Lost.

In the remaining years of his life, Baldwin produced a volume of poetry, Jimmy's Blues (1983), and a final collection of essays, The Price of the Ticket. Baldwin's last work, The Evidence of Things Not Seen (1985), was prompted by a series of child murders in Atlanta. Baldwin was made a Commander of the French Legion of Honor in June 1986. Among the other awards he received are a Eugene F. Saxon Memorial Trust Award, a Rosenwald fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, a Partisan Review fellowship, and a Ford Foundation grant.

James Baldwin died at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence in France on December 1, 1987.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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g.donahue, August 9, 2010 (view all comments by g.donahue)

James Baldwin’s, Go Tell It On The Mountain, tells the story of two generations of an African-American family who began their migration from the south to the northern city of Harlem beginning in 1900. John, the 14-year old stepson of Gabriel Grimes, begins our journey as an up and coming preacher on his 14th birthday, March of 1935. Walking that night with his family to the storefront church in Harlem, the story jogs backward to the previous generation’s struggles migrating north to escape the oppressions both outside and inside the family--finding its way back to the storefront church to witness John’s cathartic awakening. Each family member has his or her own riveting story of the past, yet each is interdependent and leads back to young John’s awakening. John, a young black man in 1930’s Harlem must deal with a religious zealot of a step-father, a community of poverty and violence; yet he finds hope in this insular black community in America which preached the self-worth and intelligence of the black for the first time. Baldwin speaks through a style of veiled biblical references dotted with nuggets of prose that transcend any race and time. This recommended read will challenge and grab you at the same time.
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Product Details

Baldwin, James A.
Baldwin, James A.
New York, N.Y. :
American fiction (fictional works by one author)
Afro-american men
African Americans
Domestic fiction
American fiction (fictional works by one auth
African American men
African American families
Afro-American men -- Fiction.
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
New Laurel ed.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
November 1985
Grade Level:
7.10x4.09x.75 in. .29 lbs.

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

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"Synopsis" by , James Baldwin's portrayal of black people in Harlem caught up in a dramatic struggle, and of a society confronting inevitable change.
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