Non-Fiction Books:

Black Fire

The Making of an American Revolutionary


Paperback / softback

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Black Fire by Nelson Peery
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The New Press is thrilled to publish the autobiography of a hitherto unknown hero, adventurer, and rebel - Nelson Peery. This remarkable and highly dramatic memoir was finished when Peery was "old enough to be honest with [him]self and the typewriter." But it was started when Peery was only twenty-four, and it retains all the innocence, sauciness, and hope of a young man who fully expected the world to live up to the promises and values he fought for in World War II. Raised during the Depression, Peery is the second son of the only black family living in a rural Minnesota town, where he quickly learns about race and class. Fleeing a life of limited opportunity and following an innate sense of adventure, Peery boards a train heading west, where he is taken in by a group of hoboes. Rarely have we seen - and never through the eyes of a young black man - the extraordinary resourcefulness and camaraderie that enables these men to survive the hardships of the Depression. When the war begins Peery joins the all-black 93rd Infantry Division: he is stationed first in the Jim Crow South and ultimately in the South Pacific. Frustrated by the hypocrisy of fighting abroad for opportunities denied blacks at home, Peery prepares to do battle, with both his mind and sword. Culminating in his increasingly insurrectionary acts, this is the classic story of the making of a revolutionary. It tells of the climate and experience that convinced Peery to war against racism and classism. Though he will be compared to Eldridge Cleaver and Malcolm X, the world Peery describes is a different one - that of Ralph Ellison and Richard Wright. Like Wright, Peery was eventually drawn to communism, but one of his owninvention: a worldwide revolution of people of color - which in the heady days of 1945 Peery thought would be the way of the future. Whether he's raising hell in Minnesota, fighting racism in Louisiana, or being seditious in the Philippines, Peery's adventures, coupled with his wry,
Release date Australia
January 30th, 1996
Country of Publication
United States
The New Press
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