Completed barely a week before he was killed at San Quentin, Jackson's second collection of letters, with essays...

READ REVIEW

BLOOD IN MY EYE

Completed barely a week before he was killed at San Quentin, Jackson's second collection of letters, with essays interspersed, is much less poem, much more single-minded polemic than Soledad Brother (1970). Here the revolutionary consciousness towards which he was struggling in the early letters is fully realized: Jackson picks and chooses among Lenin, Mao, Fanon, the Algerian and Uruguayan examples to construct an operative theory of urban guerrilla warfare which will fit the unique polity of racially torn America. Imprisonment as an aspect of class struggle and racism as a fundamental characteristic of monopoly capitalism -- these are his organizing principles, the dual pillars of his exhortatory call to arms. Swiftly and urgently he outlines tactics and strategy: a Leninist vanguard, a broadly based political infrastructure within the black colonies of the inner cities which will shield the people's army, light, easily portable and easily stolen weapons, camouflage, infiltration, ambush. Prescriptive and denunciatory, these are purposeful manifestoes which never swerve for a lyrical aside or an introspective digression; the fierce tenderness of Soledad Brother has been exorcised; instead ""perfect love and perfect hate"" fuse to a luminescent lucidity in this summons to purgative violence. Consciously, Jackson has made every effort to expunge the ego of self -- ""my life has absolutely no value"" -- except insofar as it is a mere instrument of revolution: life, death, a book, all are equally serviceable weapons in the arsenal. A surging battle-hymn, suicidal and triumphal.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 1972

ISBN: 0933121237

Page Count: -

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1972