Angela Davis: An Autobiography

Angela DAVIS

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DAVIS, Angela. Angela Davis. An Autobiography. New York: Random House, (1974). Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket.

First edition of Davis' powerful autobiography, edited by Toni Morrison as senior editor at Random House, boldly inscribed and signed on the title page by her, "To M. B. J. In Struggle, Angela Y. Davis."

Davis' Autobiography was published shortly after she was acquitted of all FBI charges after her imprisonment and trial for charges associated with Jonathan Jackson's failed siege of a Marin County courtroom—a time when she had been placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list and was described by President Nixon as a "dangerous terrorist." This work, unlike most autobiographies, "does not start at birth, but underground, on the run, in a way that directly recalls Richard Wright's fiction" (Mostern, Autobiography and Black Identity Politics, 176). "The events leading up to her capture make the early pages of the autobiography resemble a suspense thriller." Edited by Toni Morrison, then a senior editor at Random House, it "allows us to see, if only briefly, the woman behind the public activist persona: We see a visionary, a dreamer" (Nelson, African American Autobiographies, 76-7). Identifying this as "a political autobiography," Davis dedicates her story especially to "those who are going to struggle until racism and class injustice are forever banished." To Margo Perkins, Davis' "precarious status vis-a-vis mainstream society and the law" make this important work especially distinctive (Autobiography as Activism, 23). "First Edition" stated on copyright page.

A fine copy.

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