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Ready for Revolution

The Life and Struggles of Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture)


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About The Book

The astonishing personal and political autobiography of Stokely Carmichael, the legendary civil rights leader, Black Power architect, Pan-African activist, and revolutionary thinker and organizer known as Kwame Ture.

Head of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Honorary prime minister of the Black Panther Party. Bestselling author. Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) is an American legend, one whose work as a civil rights leader fundamentally altered the course of history—and our understanding of Pan-Africanism today. Ready for Revolution recounts the extraordinary course of Carmichael's life, from his Trinidadian youth to his consciousness-raising years in Harlem to his rise as the patriarch of the Black Power movement.

In his own words, Carmichael tells the story of his fight for social justice with candor, wit, and passion—and a cast of luminaries that includes James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel Castro, among others. Carmichael's personal testimony captures the pulse of the cultural upheavals that characterize the modern world. This landmark, posthumously published autobiography reintroduces us to a man whose love of freedom fueled his fight for revolution to the end.

About The Author

Stokely Carmichael, was among the most fiery and visible leaders of Black militancy in the United States in the 1960s, first as head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and then as prime minister of the Black Panther Party, where he coined the phrase "Black Power." In 1969 he cut his ties with American groups over the issue of allying with White radicals and moved to Guinea. He declared himself a pan-Africanist. In 1978 he changed his name to Kwame Ture, to honor African socialist leaders Kwame Nkrumah and Ahmed Sekoe Toure. He lived in Guinea for 33 years, until his diagnosis with prostate cancer. He died on November 15, 1998.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (February 15, 2005)
  • Length: 848 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780684850047

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Raves and Reviews

“Du Bois had prophesied the domination of the twentieth century by issues of race in the struggle for freedom and equality. Kwame Ture exemplified that prophesy in his revolutionary life of activism. Ekwueme Michale Thelwell has brought together diverse elements of Ture's life, ideas, and times into a compelling and necessary story told with masterly skill, respect, and fideltiy.” —Chinua Achebe, author of Things Fall Apart

“I knew Stokely as a brilliant, charismatic, and courageous figure in the Southern movement against racism. He was a thinker of extraordinary vision and a fighter of unequalled courage. We should welcome his autobiography as told to his friend Mike Thelwell.” —Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States

“Stokely Carmichael is the most courageous and consistent black revolutionary of his generation. Long live his spirit!” —Cornel West, professor, Princeton University

Ready for Revolution captures Carmichael's electrifying moments in the national spotlight and his emblematic journey.” The New York Times Book Review

“Maybe the single best autobiography to come out of the Movement struggles....Carmichael turns out to be a wonderful storyteller with a marvelous ear for dialogue.” Bookforum

“Carmichael's magnetism seeps through. The courage, warmth, and compassion of the man, the sharp intellect and devilish sense of humor. All are there.” The Washington Post

“Be prepared to revise your understanding of civil rights....Ready for Revolution [allows] Carmichael to tell his story and finally take his rightful place in history.” Chicago Sun-Times

“Reading Michael Thelwell's scrupulous, engaged, respectful rendering of Stokely Carmichael's life will remind protesters and marchers and street fighters, guerillas in the hills, voters at the ballot box, reformers in tenements or legislatures, revolutionaries young and old, they are not alone, never have been, never will be.” —John Edgar Wideman, prize-winning author of Brothers and Keepers and Philadelphia Fire

“Reading the book, in fact, is like sitting down with the last of the 'grand old men' of the movement and having him give you the back-story as to what was going on. It adds to the historical record the memoirs of a legendary but later reclusive historical actor. It is passionate about politics and struggle, poignant in regard to Carmichael's love, respect and admiration for ordinary black folk, and he is dead-up hilarious in describing the twists and turns on the road to revolution.” The Nation

“Carmichael's autobiography is an extraordinary work, maybe the single best autobiography to come out of the Movement struggles. It is a remarkable page-turner. . .eveidence of the often-overlooked intellectual firepower and generosity of spirit that won Carmichael legions of life-long friends and supporters...[Carmichael] turns out to be a wonderful storyteller with a marvelous ear for dialogue.” Bookforum

“[T]he essential, posthumous autobiography of the brilliant militant who popularized the term ‘black power.’ It should become a standard text in American history courses.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“[T]old largely in Carmichael’s own stylish, often thunderous, first person words, [this is] a compelling portrait of a radical thinker who radiated charisma and practiced revolution to the end.” Publishers Weekly

“[T]his inspirational autobiography establishes ‘Give me liberty or give me death!’ as the legitimate rallying cry of all freedom fighters without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin.” The Washington Informer

“Eschew[s] reductionism . . . [a] profound and expansive work.” —Library Journal

“Undaunted by the certain prospect of his imminent demise, [the author] has bequeathed to us what is sure to become one of the great American autobiographies.” Robert A. Hill, professor of history, UCLA

“[I]ntense, engaging, compelling.” —Howard Dodson, director, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

“[O]ne of the most engaging and interesting autobiographies I have ever read. The struggles of the civil rights movement and Carmichael’s vision of social justice come alive in this important contribution to social history.” —William Julius Wilson, Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor, Harvard University

“The provocative is made plain, the enigmatic clarified, and the elusive becomes sensible—with Stokely’s unique voice, wit, and verve.” —Mary King, former SNCC worker and author of Freedom Song

“No historian of the civil rights movement will be able to write about this period without consulting this indispensable book. Written in the language and from the heart of African America, it is also an immense stylistic achievement.” —Manisha Sinha, author of The Counterrevolution of Slavery

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