C. L. R. James

C. L. R. James was a Trinidadian historian, journalist, socialist theorist, and essayist. He is best known for his works on Caribbean history, Marxist theory, and his influential book 'The Black Jacobins', which details the Haitian Revolution.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Black Jacobins

    The book is a seminal historical account of the Haitian Revolution, which took place at the end of the 18th century. It chronicles the brutal conditions of slavery in the French colony of Saint-Domingue and the subsequent uprising led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave who became a brilliant military and political leader. The narrative delves into the complex social and political dynamics of the time, including the influences of the French Revolution, and examines the broader implications of the successful slave revolt for colonialism and racism. The work is celebrated for its in-depth analysis and its passionate argument for the universal rights of all people to freedom and self-determination.

    The 3400th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Future In The Present

    "The Future in the Present" is a collection of essays and lectures that delve into the social and political issues of its time, with a focus on the dynamics of class struggle, the importance of revolutionary thought, and the role of the state. The work critically examines the potential for human liberation and the necessary conditions for a society to transition towards socialism. It emphasizes the significance of understanding historical and contemporary movements, while advocating for the active participation of the working class in shaping their future. The author's Marxist perspective is evident as he explores themes of power, resistance, and the quest for a more equitable world.

    The 7878th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Beyond A Boundary

    "Beyond a Boundary" blends personal memoir, social history, and sports commentary to explore the complexities of colonialism, race, and class through the lens of cricket. The author, a Trinidadian historian and political activist, examines the role of cricket in the British West Indies, using the game as a lens to scrutinize and critique colonialist attitudes and racial stereotypes. Through his vivid narratives and character studies of prominent cricketers, he argues that cricket is deeply intertwined with cultural identity and the struggle for independence, making a compelling case for the sport's significance beyond just a game, but as an instrument of social justice and a vehicle for personal and collective empowerment.

    The 8726th Greatest Book of All Time