- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Delta; Sixteenth Printing edition (January 12, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 038533379X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385333795
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 91 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#35,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #104 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Specific Topics > Civil Rights & Liberties
- #256 in Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Ethnic & National > African-American & Black
- #270 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Specific Demographics > African-American Studies
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Soul on Ice Paperback – January 12, 1999
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"A collection of essays straight out of Dante's Inferno. The hell is there, and its name is America...as with Malcolm X, Cleaver's book is a spiritual autobiography. An odyssey of a soul in search of itself, groping toward a personal humanism which will give meaning to life...the book is important...the book is extraordinary."—Shane Stevens, The Progressive
"A remarkable book...beautifully written...Eldridge Cleaver makes you twist and flinch...he throws light on the dark areas that we wish he would leave alone."—The Nation
"Brilliant and revealing."—New York Times Book Review
"All the essays [in Soul on Ice] deal with racial hurt, racial struggle, and racial pride...Eldridge Cleaver is a promising and powerful writer, an intelligent and turbulent and passionate and eloquent man."—Robert Coles, Atlantic Monthly
From the Inside Flap
sic memoir that shocked, outraged, and ultimately changed the way America looked at the civil rights movement and the black experience.
By turns shocking and lyrical, unblinking and raw, the searingly honest memoirs of Eldridge Cleaver are a testament to his unique place in American history. Cleaver writes in Soul on Ice, "I'm perfectly aware that I'm in prison, that I'm a Negro, that I've been a rapist, and that I have a Higher Uneducation." What Cleaver shows us, on the pages of this now classic autobiography, is how much he was a man.
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Cleaver has an engaging style that draws the reader in, even though some parts of the book are abhorrent. The cadence of Cleaver’s style is almost musical. The writing — with one exception, is clear and lucid. The pacing is smooth, and the book is a fast read. If Cleaver had not joined the Black Panther Party he could have made a profession as a writer.
Although parts of the book are distressing to read, it is a gripping book. The book was written while Cleaver was in prison, serving time for raping a white woman. In the earlier parts of the book, Cleaver demonstrates his allegiance to the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammad, but he later leaves the Nation of Islam without saying why.
The book has four sections, and, unsurprisingly, the quality of the essays are uneven. The essays in the first two sections are best. The third section is a series of love letters written to his lawyer, a white woman. The first two essays in the fourth section covering Cleaver’s metaphysics are inscrutable, even with multiple readings.
This book is for anyone interested in race relations in the US which should include everyone. Although the book is captivating as it is, I wish Cleaver had written a more straightforward autobiography or spiritual autobiography. What Cleaver does supply are glances into the windows of his soul. What we see is not always pretty, but it is an authentic representation.
My advice: kill the demons, find your inner man.