Revolution or Death: The Life of Eldridge Cleaver

Revolution or Death book cover

Part of AAMLO's Meet the Authors series...

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Take an excursion with Justin D. Gifford, Professor of English at the University of Nevada-Reno, as he focuses on his new book, Revolution or Death: The Life of Eldridge Cleaver. The book examines the life of a revolutionary and the context of profoundly changing times. 

An illuminating study of a complex, memorable historical figure.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Publisher's description:

A remarkable biography that examines the notorious Black revolutionary meticulously within the context of his changing times .

Charismatic, brilliant, and courageous, Eldridge Cleaver built a base of power and influence that struck fear deep in the heart of White America. It was therefore shocking to many left-wing radicals when Cleaver turned his back on Black revolution, the Nation of Islam, and communism in 1975.

How can we make sense of Cleaver's precipitous decline from a position as one of America's most vibrant Black writers and activists? And how do his contradictory identities as criminal, party leader, international diplomat, Christian conservative, and Republican politician reveal that he was more than just a traitor to the advancement of civil rights?

Author Justin Gifford obtained exclusive access to declassified files from the French police, the American embassy, and the FBI, as well as Kathleen Cleaver’s archive, to answer these questions about a man far more compelling and complex than anyone has given him credit for.


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