Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket: C. L. R. James's Beyond a Boundary

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    Featherstone, Gair, Høgsbjerg, Smith

    Publisher: Duke University Press

    Year: 2018

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 303 pages

    ISBN: 9781478001478

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Widely regarded as one of the most important and influential sports books of all time, C. L. R. James's Beyond a Boundary is—among other things—a pioneering study of popular culture, an analysis of resistance to empire and racism, and a personal reflection on the history of colonialism and its effects in the Caribbean.

More than fifty years after the publication of James's classic text, the contributors to Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket investigate Beyond a Boundary's production and reception and its implication for debates about sports, gender, aesthetics, race, popular culture, politics, imperialism, and English and Caribbean identity.

Including a previously unseen first draft of Beyond a Boundary's conclusion alongside contributions from James's key collaborator Selma James and from Michael Brearley, former captain of the English Test cricket team, Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket provides a thorough and nuanced examination of James's groundbreaking work and its lasting impact. Contributors. Anima Adjepong, David Austin, Hilary McD. Beckles, Michael Brearley, Selwyn R. Cudjoe, David Featherstone, Christopher Gair, Paget Henry, Christian Høgsbjerg, C. L. R. James, Selma James, Roy McCree, Minkah Makalani, Clem Seecharan, Andrew Smith, Neil Washbourne, Claire Westall

What People Are Saying

"Impressively, the authors are respectful of James’ pivotal contribution to the Marxist analysis of sport but also explore aspects of his thought that fall short of a fully comprehensive materialist approach." Sean Ledwith, Marx & Philosophy Review of Books

"Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket will likely be most appealing to specialists in British Caribbean cultural studies, and will also contribute to scholarly explorations of sport. Recommended. Researchers, faculty, and professionals." B. A. Lucero, Choice

"A fine and comprehensive attempt to reflect on the work of James . . . Represents the fluency of much of James’s writing and oratory as a charismatic speaker and public intellectual who sought to place himself at the forefront of public discussion. . . . Many will glean much pleasure and stimulation from a study of this text." Russell Holden, Nordic Sports Forum

"The most outstanding sports book of 2019, to date. . . . What the editors David Featherstone, Chistopher Gair, Christian Høgsberg and Andrew Smith have achieved is truly special mixing James’ personal and political lifestory, the context of cricket in the West Indies, the past, present and future of cricket writing. Superb, just the read whilst that old imperial encounter, The Ashes, seeks to nudge the Premier League’s off season from the back pages this sporting summer." Mark Perryman, Philosophy Football

“The collection takes us well beyond the boundaries of sport, of history, of politics, and of the auto/biographical self. . . . The collection is a vital contribution to and extension of our studies of, readings of, and deployment of [C.L.R.] James in sport and beyond. It is essential in grasping the limits and potentials of what remains a key text in the historical, cultural, and sociological analyses of sport.” Malcolm MacLean, Journal of Sport History

Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket is a major literary and intellectual accomplishment. It is a must read, and a timely reminder that the problem of the twentieth century has returned with a vengeance as the problem of the twenty-first century.” Leslie R. James, CLR James Journal

“I enjoyed this book immensely. I have indulged in reading it cover to cover; revisiting certain chapters and ideas, seeking clarity as my mind became cloudy. … Putting Beyond a Boundary at the core, this book epitomises the interdisciplinary application of James to fields as diverse as sport, sociology, cultural studies, history, literature and the arts.” Thomas Fletcher, Cultural Sociology

"This fine collection of essays and reflections makes a significant contribution to the existing literature on Beyond a Boundary and C.L.R. James more generally." Neil Lazarus, New West Indian Guide

“Few books of the twentieth century inhabit the core of life and carry such human insight as C. L. R. James's Beyond a Boundary, certainly not with sport as their subject. Marxism, Colonialism and Cricket brings together a series of new reflective essays on James's epochal book by writers of the Caribbean, America, and the United Kingdom—from England's greatest cricket captain to a cricket-loving vice-chancellor at the University of the West Indies. Half a century after its first publication, Beyond a Boundary still creates profound depths of response and entirely fresh critical understanding.” Chris Searle, author of Pitch of Life: Writings on Cricket

“With the publication of Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket we finally have a critical volume dedicated to C. L. R. James's seminal text worthy of the original. The stellar lineup of contributors is as broad and impressive as Beyond a Boundary itself. Marxism, Colonialism, and Cricket will quickly become required reading for those not just interested in the intellectual and political life of C. L. R. James but, as importantly, in how we make sense of the contested political terrain of popular culture and sports in the twenty-first century.” Ben Carrington, author of Race, Sport, and Politics: The Sporting Black Diaspora

About the Editors

David Featherstone is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Glasgow.

Christopher Gair is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Glasgow.

Christian Høgsbjerg is Lecturer in Critical History and Politics at the University of Brighton.

Andrew Smith is Reader in Sociology at the University of Glasgow.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Opening Up / David Featherstone, Christopher Gair, Christian Høgsbjerg, and Andrew Smith vii
Introduction. Beyond a Boundary at Fifty / David Featherstone, Christopher Gair, Christian Høgsbjerg, and Andrew Smith 1
Part I: Cricket, Empire, and the Caribbean
1. C. L. R. James: Plumbing His Caribbean Roots / Selwyn R. Cudjoe 35
2. C. L. R. James's "British Civilization"? Exploring the "Dark Unfathomed Caves" of Beyond a Boundary / Christian Høgsbjerg 51
3. The Boundaries of Publication: The Making of Beyond a Boundary / Roy McCree 72
4. "West Indian Through and Through, and Very British": C. L. R. James's Beyond a Boundary, Coloniality, and Theorizing Caribbean Independence / Minkah Makalani 88
5. Looking Beyond the Boundary, or Bondmen without the Bat: Modernism and Culture in the Worldview of C. L. R. James / David Austin 103
Part II. The Politics of Representation in Beyond a Boundary
6. "Periodically I Pondered over It": Reading he Absence/Presence of Women in Beyond a Boundary / Anima Adjepong 123
7. C. L. R. James, W. G. Grace, and the Representative Claim / Neil Washbourne 137
8. Shannonism: Learie Constantine and the Origins of C. L. R. James's Worrell Captaincy Campaign of 1959–60: A Preliminary Assessment / Clem Seecharan 153
Part III: Art, History, and Culture in C. L. R. James
9. C. L. R. James and the Arts of Beyond a Boundary: Literary Lessons, Cricketing Aesthetics, and World-Historical Heroes / Claire Westall 173
10. The Very Stuff of Human Life: C. L. R. James on Cricket, History, and Human Nature / Andrew Smith 191
11. C. L. R. James: Beyond the Boundaries of Culture / Paget Henry 204
Part IV: Reflections
12. Socrates and C. L. R. James / Michael Brearley 223
13. My Journey to James: Cricket, Caribbean Identity, and Cricket Writing / Hilary McD. Beckles 240
14. Confronting Imperial Boundaries / Selma James 254
Appendix. What Do They Know of England? / C. L. R. James 263
References 276
Contributors 283
Index 287

Tags: Andrew Smith ....... anti-imperialism ....... Caribbean ....... Christian Høgsbjerg ....... Christopher Gair ....... CLR James ....... cultural studies ....... David Austin ....... David Featherstone ....... Duke University Press ....... marxism ....... selma james ....... sport .......