Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver ; introduction by Maxwell Geismar
New York : Ramparts Books/McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1968. Second printing. Hardcover. 210 pages ; 21 cm. $5.95 dust jacket. Pages are unmarked and binding is firm.
SOUL ON ICE by Eldridge Cleaver Introduction by Maxwell Geismar
Maxwell Geismar writes: "This book, written in prison by a young Negro American (or Afro-American), is one of the discoveries of the 1960s. In a literary epoch marked by a prevailing mediocrity of expression, a lack of substantial new talent, a kind of spiritual slough ... Cleaver's is one of the distinctive new literary voices to be heard. It reminds me of the great days of the past. It has echoes of Richard Wright's Native Son, just as its true moral affinity is with one of the few other fine books of our period, The Autobiography of Malcolm X..."
In a collection of essays and open letters from California's Folsom State Prison, Eldridge Cleaver writes about the forces which shaped his life and which are currently molding our national destiny. His prose has the terrifying lucidity of a calm before the storm. His honesty is that of the true prophets — Baudeiaire, Rimbaud, the "hard line" sounds of Jackie McLean and John Coltrane. His cell is at once Cleaver's confessional and black America's symbolic address. In it this extraordinary man began his self-redemption.
Soul on Ice will make you either cheer or flinch, but it will compel your attention. Eldridge Cleaver has been waiting all his life to write it and a lifetime of experience has been poured into it. Eldridge Cleaver is over two hundred years old.
ELDRIDGE CLEAVER was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1935. He was educated in the Negro ghetto of Los Angeles and at the California state prisons of San Quentin, Folsom, and Soledad. He is on parole from this last institution and lives in the Bay Area. He is Chairman of the Black House Council, Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and in his own words "a full-time revolutionary in the struggle for black liberation in America." A staff writer for Ramparts, he has also contributed pieces to Esquire, Black Dialogue, Liberator, and Mademoiselle. He is at work on a new book about the future direction of the black liberation movement.
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