Book Discussion: Nicholas Buccola’s The Fire is Upon Us

Cambridge, England

Book Discussion: “Nicholas Buccola’s The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America”


On August 28, 2019, Jonathan Rauch and JMC faculty partner Nicholas Buccola will hold a public discussion about Buccola’s new book, The Fire is Upon Us: James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America.

On February 18, 1965, an overflowing crowd packed the Cambridge Union in Cambridge, England, to witness a historic televised debate between James Baldwin, the leading literary voice of the civil rights movement, and William F. Buckley Jr., a fierce critic of the movement and America’s most influential conservative intellectual. The topic was “the American dream is at the expense of the American Negro,” and no one who has seen the debate can soon forget it. Nicholas Buccola’s The Fire Is upon Us is the first book to tell the full story of the event, the radically different paths that led Baldwin and Buckley to it, the controversies that followed, and how the debate and the decades-long clash between the men continues to illuminate racial division today.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019, 6:30 PM
Busboy and Poets (14th & V) • 2021 14th St NW, Washington, D.C., 20009

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Nick BuccolaNicholas Buccola is the Elizabeth & Morris Glicksman Chair in Political Science at Linfield College. His teaching and research interests are in political theory and public law. Professor Buccola is the founding director of the Frederick Douglass Forum on Law, Rights, and Justice, a partner program in JMC’s Pacific Northwest Initiative, and has written extensively on the political thought of Frederick Douglass. He has published essays on a wide variety of topics including the debate over same-sex marriage, Friedrich Nietzsche’s critique of socialism, and the political philosophies of Judith Shklar and Leo Strauss. He is a recipient of the Allen and Pat Kelley Faculty Scholar Award, and a two-time recipient of the Samuel Graf Faculty Achievement Award. Professor Buccola is also the new book review editor for the JMC supported journal, American Political Thought.

Professor Buccola is a Jack Miller Center faculty partner.

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Portrait of Jonathan RuachJonathan Rauch is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He is the author of seven books and numerous articles on public policy, culture, and government, a contributing writer for The Atlantic, and a recipient of the 2005 National Magazine Award. Although much of his writing has been on public policy, he has also written on topics as widely varied as adultery, agriculture, economics, gay marriage, height discrimination, biological rhythms, number inflation, and animal rights. He has appeared as a guest on many television and radio programs.

Learn more about Jonathan Rauch >>



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