New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1968. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher’s blue cloth, spine and stamped in green and white, upper board stamped in green, original photo-illustrated dust jacket.
"I took a long look at myself and, for the first time in my life, admitted that I was wrong, that I had gone astray -- astray not so much from the white man's law as from being human, civilized." First edition of Black writer and political activist Eldridge Cleaver’s classic memoir. A seminal work in Black American literature, critically praised upon publication by mainstream outlets, the series of essays and open letters (many originally published in radical magazine Ramparts) was composed while Cleaver was incarcerated in California’s Folsom State Prison for a series of crimes. Inspired by the likes of Thomas Paine, Karl Marx, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X, and James Baldwin, the text was instrumental in forming integral ideas behind the Black Panther Party, of which Cleaver would become a prominent member and unofficial leader after his release in 1968. Introduction by American writer and literary critic Maxwell Geismar ("In a literary epoch marked by a prevailing mediocrity of expression, a lack of substantial new talent, a kind of spiritual slough…Cleaver's is one of the distinctive new literary voices to be heard"). Light age-toning to textblock, spine slightly rolled; light toning and edgewear to unclipped dust jacket. Near fine. Item #6710