AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Angela Davis

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I hated being the center of such excessive attention. I had never aspired to be a 'public revolutionary.'"" Coming from Angela Davis, fiery black orator, accused accomplice of Jonathan Jackson in the Marin County courthouse murders, this may seem ingenuous. It isn't. The persona that comes through most vividly in this very able but curiously unemotional autobiography is Angela Davis, intellectual and Marxist, a young woman with rigorous academic training, a woman who declines to engage in the blood and bullets rhetoric so common among Black Liberation leaders. Indeed, as her account of the activism in the black communities of L.A. and San Diego shows, her deep commitment to Communism has been sustained despite frequent sneers from her own people -- who are as aroused by the red bogey as any white American. Whether she is talking about her childhood in Bull Conner's Birmingham, her years of study with Marcuse, the confrontations with the L.A.P.D. in the months preceding her work on behalf of the Soledad Brothers, she is always brisk, analytical and businesslike. The CP doesn't encourage its members to bare their souls or to indulge in ego trips -- and this is one lesson which Angela has taken to heart. Even when speaking of George Jackson she says only: ""I felt a personal commitment as well."" The autobiography, which ends with her acquittal on the murder and conspiracy charge, offers, rather surprisingly, no political program for the future except that which is implicit in the words of the old civil rights anthem, They Say That Freedom Is A Constant Struggle. We learn virtually nothing about the inner? non-political life of Angela Davis -- which will surely be disappointing to many. However much one may respect her courage, it is in the end an unsatisfyingly distant and posed portrait.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1974
Publisher: Random Home