Synopses & Reviews
In C. L. R. James's classic Beyond a Boundary, the sport is cricket and the scene is the colonial West Indies. Always eloquent and provocative, James the "black Plato," (as coined by the London Times) shows us how, in the rituals of performance and conflict on the field, we are watching not just prowess but politics and psychology at play. Part memoir of a boyhood in a black colony (by one of the founding fathers of African nationalism), part passionate celebration of an unusual and unexpected game, Beyond a Boundary raises, in a warm and witty voice, serious questions about race, class, politics, and the facts of colonial oppression. Originally published in England in 1963 and in the United States twenty years later (Pantheon, 1983), this second American edition brings back into print this prophetic statement on race and sport in society.
"Everything James has done has had the mark of originality, of his own flexible, sensitive, and deeply cultured intelligence. He conveys not a rigid doctrine but a delight and curiosity in all the manifestations of life, and the clue to everything lies in his proper appreciation of the game of cricket." E. P. Thompson
"A book of remarkable richness and force, which vastly expands our understanding of sports as an element of popular culture in the Western and colonial world." Mark Naison, The Nation
"Beyond a Boundary is an extraordinary work..." David Lammy, BBC History
"If you want to look deeper into cricketâ€™s intriguing history, check out Beyond a Boundary by C.L.R. James. First published in 1963, this modern cricket classic is both a tribute to the game that James grew up playing in his native Trinidad and a memoir of his years in England as a radical writer leading the crusade for West Indian independence." Utne Reader
"[This] is a work of double reverence for the resilient, elegant ritualism of cricket and for the black people of the world." Whitney Balliett, New Yorker
Part memoir of a West Indian boyhood, part celebration of the game of cricket, this self-portrait of a life spent playing, watching and writing about the game, tells us of its psychology and aesthetics, players the author knew, and the issues of class, race and politics surrounding it.
About the Author
C. L. R. James (19011989), historian, novelist, cultural and political critic and activist, was born in Trinidad. He is the author of numerous books, including his well-known study of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins (1938).