[Marxism] Spectres of 1919

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Wed Nov 26 16:30:26 MST 2003

*****   Spectres of 1919
Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro
Barbara Foley

With the New Negro movement and the Harlem Renaissance, the 1920s was 
a landmark decade in African American political and cultural history, 
characterized by an upsurge in racial awareness, artistic creativity, 
and anticapitalist radicalism. In Spectres of 1919 Barbara Foley 
examines the turbulent year 1919, viewing it as the political 
crucible in which the radicalism of the 1920s was forged.

World War I and the Russian Revolution profoundly reshaped the 
American social landscape, with progressive reforms first halted and 
then reversed in the name of anti-Bolshevism. Dissent was stifled as 
labor activists and minority groups came under intense attack, 
culminating in the racist and antiradical violence of the "Red 
Summer" of 1919. Foley shows that African Americans had a significant 
relationship with the organized Left and that the New Negro 
movement's radical politics of race was also the politics of class.

Spectres of 1919 analyzes how the highly politicized New Negro 
movement gave way to the culturalism of the Harlem Renaissance, as 
African American political and literary movements attempted to 
navigate between U.S. (or "bad") nationalism and 
self-determinationist (or "good") nationalism.

Spectres of 1919 draws from a wealth of primary sources, taking a 
bold new approach to the origins of African American radicalism and 
adding nuance and complexity to the understanding of a fascinating 
and vibrant era.

"Absorbing and provocative. While other scholars have nibbled around 
the edges of the radical roots of the New Negro movement, Foley has 
deeply engaged the subject. Her scholarship is meticulous and 
impressive, her writing style clear, direct, and forceful.This is 
ground-breaking scholarship of the highest order." -- James A. 
Miller, author of Harlem: The Vision of Morgan and Marvin Smith

Barbara Foley is a professor of English at Rutgers University and a 
leading authority on post-World War I American writers of the Left.

<http://www.press.uillinois.edu/f03/foley.html>   *****

Barbara Foley, "Jean Toomer's Washington and the Politics of Class: 
from 'Blue Veins' to Seventh-street Rebels," _Modern Fiction Studies_ 
42.2 (1996) 289-321: 

Barbara Foley, "'In the Land of Cotton': Economics and Violence in 
Jean Toomer's 'Cane,'" _African American Review_ 32.2 (Summer 1998): 


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