Synopses & Reviews
The foundations for the explosive rise of the Black liberation struggle in the U.S. beginning in the mid-1950s were laid by the massive migration of Blacks from the rural South to cities and factories across the continent, drawn by capital's insatiable need for labor power—and cannon fodder for its wars. Malcolm X emerged from this rising struggle as its outstanding single leader. He insisted that colossal movement was part of a worldwide revolutionary battle for human rights. A clash “between those who want freedom, justice, and equality and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.” Drawing lessons from a century and a half of struggle, this book helps us understand why it is the revolutionary conquest of power by the working class that will make possible the final battle for Black freedom—and open the way to a world based not on exploitation, violence, and racism, but human solidarity. A socialist world.Includes four photo sections and over 130 photographs and drawings, author's introduction, index, glossary.
Publisher Weekly Reviews
"The latest historical analysis from Socialist Worker's Party national secretary Barnes (Capitalism's World Disorder) boldly, if dubiously, asserts that the masses are about to seize power-and not (as conservative forces would posit) in accordance with progressives like President Obama, but in opposition. In Barnes's view, the current American overclass continues to exploit the working class (especially the working poor), having changed only its face: the new bourgeoisie, including Obama, is an 'enlightened meritocracy' comprised 'of all colors and hues' that, while 'cadging' the wealth created by capitalists exploiting producers, 'fear at some point being pushed back to the working classes,' making a divide-and-conquer strategy all the more important. Barnes argues that Malcolm X was, at the time of his assassination, on the threshold of becoming a socialist, a stretch even considering Barnes's evidence (such as a particular 1965 interview). Still, Barnes's perspective is eye-opening: over the past 30 years, the economic position of the working class in America has been steadily eroding, and the usual suspects-NAFTA, China, and other forces of global trade-cannot be fought with strikes or picket lines. Unfortunately, Barnes's humorless, doctrinaire approach won't do much to inspire American workers; perhaps that's why he needs Malcolm X." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“A trenchant socialist analysis of American class and race politics…. [P]eople who are interested in the history of civil rights, political theory, or socialism will find it fascinating.” Foreword Reviews
“Will reward readers looking for little known aspects of Malcolm’s political views and the leadership place African-Americans have taken at the forefront of working-class and popular struggles from the Civil War to the present day. The inclusion of Barnes’ 1965 interview with Malcolm adds interest to the book, as does a collection of 130 pages of photos and drawings that illustrate the determined and combative face of the Black struggle.” Book News
“… seeks to help its readers connect the actions of the past with those of the present … it positions Malcolm X at the center of those struggles as one who was expanding his worldview and political philosophy and was, in Barnes’s view, on his way to becoming a communist. In writing this book and forwarding this reading of the last months of Malcolm’s life, Barnes offers up an intriguing and challenging appraisal of an enigmatic leader as well as a valuable addition to the scholarship on this seminal African American leader of the twentieth century.” Afro-Hispanic Review
“… A powerful and persuasive political testimony, enhanced with black-and-white photographs, a glossary, and an index.” Midwest Book Review