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Alex Boyd on books in the news a quick look at newly published material and books of common interest. Your host Alex Boyd in the serials department at the University of Illinois Library. A few weeks past I reviewed Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice. My collection of highly literate and perceptive essays on the status of a black man in America and of American society in general which was written while the author was still serving a term in a California state prison. Today I was discussing a compilation. Of Cleves post-prison writings and speeches and speeches. The collection has been edited by Robert Scheer and his is entitle Eldridge Cleaver and has been published by Random House. Essentially Cher has taken some of the articles Cleaver wrote while he was an associate editor of Ramparts magazine which appeared in that publication and combined with a couple of of his speeches before college audiences and open letters. To this he has appended an interview Kleber had with Nate Hentoff which appeared in Playboy magazine. The editors stay so this work is not a sequel to Soul on Ice. In fact since Cleaver was a
fugitive before the book was assembled he actually had no hand in the selection of material included. Gunn dismissed the show has done a commendable job in choosing the material for inclusion but clearly forms a pattern and the chronological and ideological progression which culminated unclever self-imposed exile. In a way this book is much more autobiography autobiographical than Soul on Ice and therefore much more revealing of cleave his character. His views on the Black Muslims. Malcolm X Frantz Fanon and Phantom's book the wretched of the earth which Cleaver terms the black Bible and a critical essay on Robert Kennedy among the first items in the volume and bear the closest relationship to the Cleave of so life. It was during the period when these pieces were written after he was paroled from prison and hired by rappers. They clearly came closest to a return to by society's standards. A normal way of life. Soon however he came in contact with the Black Panther Party and most particularly Huey Newton who had a profound effect on him. Events from
here on. Come in quick succession. He becomes a list of information for the Black Panther Party. Martin Luther King is kill the hopeless shoot out occurs and the gulping cleaver and the Panthers and the forces of the stablish men by which he means Oakland police the California parole board and Governor Reagan becomes too wide to be bridged so wide in fact that cleaver becomes convinced that if he were ever to return to prison that establishment find some way to assassinate him. He therefore has no choice but to flee into exile. What's quite difficult to do when reading this book is to remain neutral. Cleaver has been a writer a black militant and a revolutionary. But as evidenced in some of the more recent writings just before his acts out the first two traits become less visible. These pieces are angry bitter. The surface attacks on everything that hints of current established American society. Yet although his views range from radical to almost nihilistic he remains a highly talented and very convincing writer. Depending on your point of view you will lack they sympathize
with him or become quite angry and perhaps a little frightened. This latter condition is unavoidable. The Cleavers message is clearly that there will have to be radical changes in American society if not by peaceful means than through violent means. Cleaver and doubtless many others white and black faithfully believe this. Unfortunately too many people as evidence in the recent elections for mayor and some of America's largest cities tend to believe that stronger law enforcement and attempts to control the results of poverty inequality and injustice. Look here are these major causes of violence. The writings in Eldridge Cleaver indicate that instead more police and more laws and more Rassmann can and will lead to a national arms race with much graver consequences to American society than any enemies abroad. Real or imagined. And this has been books in the news prepared and resented by Alex Boyd and sponsored by the Illinois State Library for the City University of Illinois radio circuits. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Books in the news
Eldridge Cleaver
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Illinois State Library
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
In program number 394, Alex Boyd talks about "Eldridge Cleaver."
Series Description
A quick look at newly published material and books of current interest.
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Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: Illinois State Library
Speaker: Boyd, Alex
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-35d-344 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:04:34
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Chicago: “Books in the news; Eldridge Cleaver,” 1969-07-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 25, 2024,
MLA: “Books in the news; Eldridge Cleaver.” 1969-07-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Books in the news; Eldridge Cleaver. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from