Cover

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Title, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xviii

My life has been enriched through studying the ideas, activism, and partnership of James and Grace Lee Boggs. Of the many things I gained, one of the most important is a deeper respect and greater appreciation for the importance of community, the connections we...

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A Note on Names

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pp. xix-xxx

I have chosen to use the first names Grace and Jimmy throughout the book to avoid confusion or lack of clarity that may arise from using “Boggs” when referring to either of them. Furthermore, in my reference to...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

James and Grace Lee Boggs built a remarkable life together grounded in their shared commitment to making the next American revolution. By disposition and background, they were two very dif­ferent people. They set out on disparate life trajectories and traveled distinct...

Part I

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1. Making a Way Out of No Way: Jimmy’s Southern Roots and Urban Groundings

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pp. 11-36

"I grew up in a little town called Marion Junction, Alabama,” James Boggs frequently recalled, “where white people were ladies and gentlemen by day and Ku Klux Klanners by night" 1 During his childhood in the 1920s and 1930s, he explained...

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2. Black Radical Detroit: Jimmy, the Labor Movement, and the Left

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pp. 37-59

Jimmy explained his entry into the auto industry by saying, “Hitler and Tojo put me to work in the plant.” This was not to say “that I was for Hitler and Tojo,” he clarified, “but it was they who gave blacks the opportunity to work...

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3. Embracing Contradictions: Grace’s Philosophic Journey and Political Emergence

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pp. 60-84

Grace Lee Boggs was both product and producer of an improbable history. “I grew up in New York as a first generation Chinese American in an all-Caucasian community with no role models,” she once told an audience. “So I realized early on that I had...

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4. Revolutionary Marxism: Grace, Black Protest, and the Johnson-Forest Tendency

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pp. 85-130

Walking across the University of Chicago campus one day in 1941, Grace saw a notice for a meeting of a group called the South Side Tenants Organization that was fighting rat-infested housing in the...

Part II

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5. Marxism and Marriage in Detroit

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pp. 133-155

Having self-consciously declared itself a new and unique political entity and proudly proclaimed itself to be freed from the strictures and modes not just of Trotskyism but of the whole of the organized Left, Correspondence faced the task of establishing its organizational...

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6. Building Correspondence

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pp. 156-197

The first issue of Correspondence appeared on October 3, 1953, exactly three months after Grace’s opening speech at the Convention of Correspondence Committees, where the group formally committed itself to launching...

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7. Facing Multiple Realities

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pp. 198-244

“The revolutionary crisis is here,” C. L. R. declared in a letter to his comrades in the United States in the fall of 1956. The dramatic confrontation with “totalitarian power” embodied in the recent eruptions of popular protest and challenges to Communist Party rule in Poland and...

Part III

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8. Only One Side Is Right

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pp. 247-271

On October 28, 1958, in the town of Monroe in Union County, North Carolina, two young African American boys, David Ezell “Fuzzy” Simpson (age eight) and James Hanover Thompson (age ten) were involved in a game with white playmates. During the game, Thompson exchanged a kiss with...

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9. An Ending and a Beginning

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pp. 272-292

In the spring of 1961, James Boggs and Malcolm X offered Detroit-area audiences parallel analyses of black protest politics. Each of them employed the familiar "house Negro versus field Negro" trope as a rhetorical and analytical device to describe the...

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10. The American Revolution

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pp. 293-320

“Negroes Are the Ones Best-Suited to Govern the United States Today.” This declaration appeared on the front page of Correspondence's special Emancipation Proclamation issue published in January 1963.1 The start of the new year marked the centennial of...

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Epilogue

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pp. 321-338

In 1963, Jimmy and Grace began describing their philosophy as “dialectical humanism.” They crafted this new political theory in response to the four interrelated developments that reshaped their political activity during the early 1960s: their organizational split with...

Notes

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pp. 339-398

Bibliography

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pp. 399-418

Index

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pp. 419-434