Bounced post on CLR James from non-subscriber

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Nov 25 16:49:40 MST 1999

From: "William Field" <field_william at>
To: marxism-digest at
Cc: owner-marxism-digest at
Subject: Maverick of the Millennium
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999 15:40:21 PST
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Maverick of the Millennium

What is the essence of a true Maverick? Passion, principle, purpose and

These were the reasons for the choice of C L R James as Maverick of the
Millennium. James was proposed last night at the Atlantic Bar and Grill
by John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Kent Law Clinic. Fitzpatrick's
motion won not because of his description of the diverse interests and
accomplishments of the Trinidadian author, but because he told a story
of an individual who chose the unconventional route and to his death
retained his independence of thought.

C L R James was unafraid to challenge his political enemies, his
fellow-travellers and the ghetto into which some tried to place him. He
lived his life as an embodiment of his internationalist principles and
he lived it to the full, unafraid to take advantage of the pleasures
offered by the society he so vigorously critiqued. He combined with
passion, a consciousness of his choices and his ideas, and a willingness
to defend them in both thought and action.

When challenged from the floor with alternative, better-known historical
figures such as Leonardo Da Vinci, William Shakespeare or Karl Marx,
Fitzpatrick countered that while these are undoubtedly great men they
were also elevated by the tide of history. In contrast, C L R James
should be defined as a maverick because he continually had to battle
against that tide to maintain his critical stance while isolated,
imprisoned or unrecognised. He was, however, by no means a tragic
figure, but a charming and witty man with a passion for life and for
humanity. C L R James is our Maverick of the Millennium.

Louis Proyect
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