Synopses & Reviews
In his heyday, Paul Robeson was one of the most famous people in the world; to his enemies he was also one of the most dangerous. From the 1930s to the 1960s, the African-American singer was the voice of the people, both as a performer and as a political activist who refused to be silenced.
Having won fame with hits such as “Ol’ Man River” and thrilling London and New York theatregoers with his legendary performance in Othello, Robeson established himself as a vocal supporter of Civil Rights and an opponent of oppression in all its forms. He traveled the world, performing in front of thousands to deliver a message of peace, equality and justice that was as readily understood on the streets of Manchester, Moscow, Johannesburg and Bombay as it was in Harlem and Washington, DC.
The first new work on the leading African-American singer for over a decade, Paul Robeson: A Watched Man is a story of passionate political struggle and conviction. Using archival material from the FBI, the State Department, MI5 and other secret agencies, Jordan Goodman reveals the true extent of the US government’s fear of this heroic individual. Robeson eventually appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he spiritedly defended his long-held convictions and refused to apologize, despite the potential damage to his career.
Paul Robeson was one of the most famous people in the world; to his enemies he was also one of the most dangerous. From the 1930s to the 1960s, the African American singer was the voice of the people, both on stage and as a political activist who refused to be silenced as he fought for the rights of the oppressed. His message of peace, equality and justice was understood as much on the streets of Manchester, Moscow, Johannesburg and Bombay as it was in Harlem and Washington, DC.
Jordan Goodman tells the story of Robeson during the tumultuous Cold War when the United States government became so worried by his impact abroad that it tried to silence him. Drawing on extensive new archival material from Robeson's FBI, State Department, MI6 and KGB files, he shows the major international scope of this effort.
About the Author
Jordan Goodman previously taught at the University of Manchester and is an Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London. He is the author The Rattlesnake: A Voyage of Discovery to the Coral Sea and The Devil and Mr Casement. He lives in London.