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Angela Davis: An Autobiography Paperback – November 4, 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: International Publishers Co (November 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0717806677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0717806676
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First off, for anyone who finds this book dry or boring, understand one thing: this is not pop fiction. You're not going to get neat drawn-out analogies that compares human struggle to a football game or any such nonsense. It's a very intelligent, articulate book that doesn't try to dumb down its message for the uninitiated. But it's also not rocket science. Read it with an open mind and any knowledge you may have of the 60's and 70's and you'll do just fine.
What is often misunderstood is that Ms. Davis did not like the idea of a 'personal' autobiography and was very reluctant to do the book in the first place. She didn't see herself as so special or disconnected in any way from the lives of the millions of struggling people that she and her struggle sought to better. So, she wrote a 'political' autobiography. Every facet of her own life that she chose to share with us is tied in some way to that struggle to bring dignity to the masses of human beings exploited throughout the world. What you walk away with after reading this book is how much she really does care the lives of people. It's not just a bunch of abstract ideas, neat theories, or some trivial intellectual excercise. It really is life and death issues. And she fought for the lives of many as if she would fight for her own.
I think the most important thing you walk away with, and what she wants you to walk away with, is a clear and powerful demonstration of just how much people can bring about real change when we work together collectively in mass and fight for what we believe is right. Time and time again, victory after victory, against what some would consider insurmountable odds, the will of the people were heard. Not because they elected some noble politician who changed it from within.
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The political autobiography was published in 1974 by Random House and reissued in 1988 and 2004.

The book is built around Davis evading police, but finally being captured in New York City and being charged with three capital offenses due to her alleged participation in an escape attempt at the Marin County Hall of Justice.

Davis then weaves her story through her 16 months in jail while awaiting trial, a world-wide campaign calling for her release and her acquittal of all charges in 1972.

It is a treasure of information from one of the most high-profile members of the revolutionary movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Davis was shaped by her travels to Cuba and concluded democracy and socialism are more compatible for freedom of the working class than democracy and capitalism.

The book does not include new material. I would be very interested in an additional chapter on when Davis and others broke from the Communist Party USA during a tumultuous meeting in Cleveland, OH, in the early 1990s.

Only the most rabid revisionist of 1960s-1970s political turmoil would not give her the place she rightfully deserves when discussing that era.

The book remains an unrepentant statement against government-backed repression, and the work by one person to bring these issues to the forefront of the consciousness of all people.
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Format: Paperback
"...render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night." -James Baldwin, An Open Letter to My Sister, Angela Y. Davis

On the FBI's most wanted list at only 26yrs old. A life so eventful she could write an utterly suspenseful autobiography at 28yrs old.

Angela Y. Davis.

When I started reading this autobiography I had to stop a moment and think about the ages Davis was when all these events were taking place. This autobiography was sobering to say the least. Currently at ages 23-26, most women have extremely superficial or vanity laden thoughts. At the same age Angela Davis was making history. She was one of the leaders and very few women of a national movement to liberate Black and Brown people alike.

"...love has been ordained by God. White people's hatred of us was neither natural nor eternal."

In Birmingham, AL, Davis grew up in the middle of the civil Rights Movement and constant bombings in her neighborhood. When Davis speaks about her parents and siblings, especially her mother, there is a certain tenderness and love that leaps off the page. Despite all she faced she stated she wanted it all to be over more so for her mom than herself. Her sister Fania was relentless in her devotion. There were numerous loyal friends from various political factions. Throughout this book you get the feel that Angela Davis was born for the fight she was in. She had a certain resilience and calm that most people, man or woman, would break into pieces under. She was totally devoted to the revolution. During her stay in the NY House of Detention, Davis really began to develop where her life work would be.
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I bought it for my daughter who is named after Angela. Wish I'd picked a later book. I want her to understand why I, a die-heard , eight month pregnant conservative white girl, in college, who actually voted for George Wallace, stood up and shouted "If I have a girl, I'm naming her Angela" the moment I saw Angela got arrested on that bogus charge while I was watching tv. That whole incident changed the course of my life. I want my daughter to have some pride for her name- she has been totally brainwashed by other sides of the family who consider Davis a traitor and a communist.The 2 do not go hand in hand!
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