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Generally recognized as one of the most important novels of the tumultuous 1960s, The Man Who Cried I Am vividly evokes the harsh era of segregation that presaged the expatriation of African-American intellectuals. Through the eyes of journalist Max Reddick, and with penetrating fictional portraits of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, among other historical figures, John A Generally recognized as one of the most important novels of the tumultuous 1960s, The Man Who Cried I Am vividly evokes the harsh era of segregation that presaged the expatriation of African-American intellectuals. Through the eyes of journalist Max Reddick, and with penetrating fictional portraits of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, among other historical figures, John A Williams reveals the hope, courage, and bitter disappointment of the civil-rights era. Infused with powerful artistry, searing anger, as well as insight, humanity, and vision, The Man Who Cried I Am is a classic of postwar American literature.


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Generally recognized as one of the most important novels of the tumultuous 1960s, The Man Who Cried I Am vividly evokes the harsh era of segregation that presaged the expatriation of African-American intellectuals. Through the eyes of journalist Max Reddick, and with penetrating fictional portraits of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, among other historical figures, John A Generally recognized as one of the most important novels of the tumultuous 1960s, The Man Who Cried I Am vividly evokes the harsh era of segregation that presaged the expatriation of African-American intellectuals. Through the eyes of journalist Max Reddick, and with penetrating fictional portraits of Richard Wright and James Baldwin, among other historical figures, John A Williams reveals the hope, courage, and bitter disappointment of the civil-rights era. Infused with powerful artistry, searing anger, as well as insight, humanity, and vision, The Man Who Cried I Am is a classic of postwar American literature.

30 review for The Man Who Cried I Am

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nathan "N.R." Gaddis

    Please read this. Now. __________ [gr=score -- 222::22] I'm way out on a limb with this claim [I'm not] but it's not the truth of my claim I'm interested in but the fact that there remains the task for other readers to verify it or reject it, and I'm out on a limb because of the relevant books I've read only one, Invisible Man, BUT. If there is a triumvirate of Black American Writers--Ellison, Wright, Baldwin--and despite my having only read one single piece of evidence I of course concede they are Please read this. Now. __________ [gr=score -- 222::22] I'm way out on a limb with this claim [I'm not] but it's not the truth of my claim I'm interested in but the fact that there remains the task for other readers to verify it or reject it, and I'm out on a limb because of the relevant books I've read only one, Invisible Man, BUT. If there is a triumvirate of Black American Writers--Ellison, Wright, Baldwin--and despite my having only read one single piece of evidence I of course concede they are each pinnacles of American Fiction and mea culpa etc--and the authority with which I make my claim is as flimsy as flimsy gets [shouldn't Toni Morrison count among the trinity? I'd say she's the Next Generation but who's counting] but however we count and howsoever sturdily we build I'd submit as Number Four to the Trilogy John A. Williams' The Man Who Cried I Am (and not just for the Descartes joke). No one's heard of him or this as attested by the gr=community Reviews. I was privileged to be introduced to him by Fred Karl's magnificent American Fictions 1940-1980: A Comprehensive History and Critical Evaluation (and nudged to finally tolle lege by gr=SuperStar Richard). Fred Karl also introduced me to William Melvin Kelley's A Different Drummer [gr=scrore 341::61] which also I've not read (yet) but have read his Wakean Dunfords Travels Everywheres [gr=score 9::2] ;; and I've been hearing recently some rumblings that perhaps WMK oughter be the Fourth of the Triveers. And I'd be happy with that too because the more volumes we can pack into a Trilogy the better that's my opinion. I'm not finished with the novel just yet. But the above is what I want to say no matter what may or may not 'happen' in the final several dozen pages. Also and since we're already here doing all this research and conjecturing ; here's a list of roughly speaking post-1965 african american writers possibly experimentale that I simply stole from elsewhere on goodreads and the contents of which are not necessarily by me personally vetted but that's not important because what we are talking about is research and possibly the excavation of a BURIAL. :: Henry Dumas Toni Cade Bambara Lawerence Neal John Edgar Wideman Ishmael Reed [naturally] Clarence Major Walter Mosley Percival Everett William Demby Let me know what you discover. * And as this kind of thing always gets relegated to an asterix'd footnote let me observe that two single female names above were mentioned. Let me add one for your curiosity's sake :: Carlene Hatcher Polite. Go get her book and let me know.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robert Wechsler

    This should be much more of an African-American classic than it is. I’d never even heard of it. The writing is excellent, simple but always appropriate, never pat. Although it is a novel about a novelist, and his relationship with another novelist, it never feels overly literary or self-referential. Except for the end, with the uncovering of a huge international conspiracy, it almost never strikes a wrong note. It’s a novel I could definitely come back to. It’s too bad that, it appears, Williams This should be much more of an African-American classic than it is. I’d never even heard of it. The writing is excellent, simple but always appropriate, never pat. Although it is a novel about a novelist, and his relationship with another novelist, it never feels overly literary or self-referential. Except for the end, with the uncovering of a huge international conspiracy, it almost never strikes a wrong note. It’s a novel I could definitely come back to. It’s too bad that, it appears, Williams never duplicated the quality of this novel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    El

    Max Reddick is a journalist in the sixties, trying to overcome racial stereotypes as well as personal (and physical) obstacles to become a respected writer. Beginning in Amsterdam the story moves location and time throughout the story, from New York to Leiden to Amsterdam to Africa. His relationships with other black intellectuals and expatriates are based on real characters of history (Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Richard Wright), and his sexual relationships with women (both black and white) are Max Reddick is a journalist in the sixties, trying to overcome racial stereotypes as well as personal (and physical) obstacles to become a respected writer. Beginning in Amsterdam the story moves location and time throughout the story, from New York to Leiden to Amsterdam to Africa. His relationships with other black intellectuals and expatriates are based on real characters of history (Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Richard Wright), and his sexual relationships with women (both black and white) are discussed openly and honestly in regards to how Max is treated by his peers. Williams here covers the Civil Rights Movement, Marxism, race, cancer, the Cubans, the Russians, etc. as Max details his experiences throughout, therefore revealing his identity as a human. I think it's unfair to compare this to James Baldwin, another black writer whom I find absolutely spectacular; this is the first Williams I have read and I understand it to be the one that made readers first take real notice of Williams - there are similarities between Baldwin and Williams, but Williams actually takes it just a step further than Baldwin would. There is even more history and animosity, Williams is even more directly and painfully honest. For that reason, for the way Williams seemed to put his entire body into writing this book, I believe I have found one of the most powerful books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I had never even heard of John A. Williams' The Man Who Cried I Am before I began putting together my reading lists for my comps and I have no idea why. It's an amazing novel and one that should have more recognition. The novel is cinematic in its scope and in its easy fades from one time period, one setting, one mindset to another. The framing narrative follows Max Reddick, an African American novelist and journalist, on one final trip to Amsterdam. He is dying of cancer and makes this last tri I had never even heard of John A. Williams' The Man Who Cried I Am before I began putting together my reading lists for my comps and I have no idea why. It's an amazing novel and one that should have more recognition. The novel is cinematic in its scope and in its easy fades from one time period, one setting, one mindset to another. The framing narrative follows Max Reddick, an African American novelist and journalist, on one final trip to Amsterdam. He is dying of cancer and makes this last trip to see his estranged wife once more and see his friend Harry's mistress, for she has something important to give him from Harry, who has recently died. On his trip to Amsterdam, he reflects upon who has been and who he has become. His memories take the reader from the 1940s to the present of 1964, as Max's life includes literary parties, newspaper reporting, affair after affair after affair, working with the president [modelled on John F. Kennedy], working in Africa, and living in Paris and Amsterdam with other African American expatriates. The novel takes on the literary world and its treatment of minority authors (tokenism), relations within minority groups (jealousy), interracial relationships (whether merely sexual or long-term, committed relationships), the place of minorities in politics and the workplace, the chaotic and confusing events of the 1960s, illness and death. Williams provides fictionalized representations of Richard Wright, James Baldwin, John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, thus situating his novel in a very real context while also allowing himself leeway to make larger statements about these figures and their import without being tied to mere facts. Much of the novel is a realistic portrayal of the culture in which Max's life takes place, from the political to the personal, from the business world to the sexual encounters that occur behind the scenes. This culture becomes more and more central to the story as the novel develops. At first it is mostly backdrop, an element of Max's personal life and not much more, but as the novel builds to a fantastic and utterly believable (and thus completely terrifying) conclusion, the political and social culture comes to the forefront and forces Max to make hard choices about who he is and who he wants to be at the end of his life. Williams both argues for the necessity of force or at least a show of force, taking a position like Malcolm X's in saying that the oppressed should be willing to create change "by any means necessary," as he simultaneously illustrates the dangers of such an approach and the naiveté of those who believe that uniting black people behind such a banner would be easy or that it would effect any real change without first destroying the population. For Max and other leaders, to speak up is to endanger the lives of every African American in the U.S.; to say nothing, however, does no different. The question is no more and no less, in this case, than how one will choose to die: quickly and violently or slowly and painfully. By showing this paradox surrounding the race issue in mid-20th century America, Williams shows just how complex the issue of whether to use violent and nonviolent techniques of resistance is. It is not a question of violence or nonviolence; it is a question of power. As Bernard Zutkin, a Jewish editor, says to Max, "We survived by knowing exactly where power seemed to be every second of the day. If you're black you know that every white man thinks he has power over you and ergo, he has, until you kick his tail for him" (316). Individual survival is no longer an option for Max or Minister Q or any number of other black people, but their individual actions and sacrifices may make a broader survival possible. That is the only hope that Williams can leave us with at the end of this novel and even that is tenuous.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    This one disturbed me, and I think that's the point. Not disturbed in a psychological way. Williams just keeps me always on my guard. At first, I worried about the constant fluxuations in tone, time, and scope. But in the end, I'm fascinated with how perfectly these shifts match the growth and struggles of Max Reddick. The ending is still bothering me; mostly because I'm still trying to force it into a clean, traditional narrative, and it won't fit. Provocative. I know that's a bit cliche, but I This one disturbed me, and I think that's the point. Not disturbed in a psychological way. Williams just keeps me always on my guard. At first, I worried about the constant fluxuations in tone, time, and scope. But in the end, I'm fascinated with how perfectly these shifts match the growth and struggles of Max Reddick. The ending is still bothering me; mostly because I'm still trying to force it into a clean, traditional narrative, and it won't fit. Provocative. I know that's a bit cliche, but I never use that word to describe books. Until now, of course. I'll think on it...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Banderson

    I've read this so many times I can't put the date above. It is fascinating how the author weaves the current events of his time with the lives of his writing contemporaries, like Richard Wright and Baldwin. He draws on clearly autobiographical experiences as a young black writer in the '40s, 50's and 60's, but so much of the feeling is like it happened yesterday. I've read this so many times I can't put the date above. It is fascinating how the author weaves the current events of his time with the lives of his writing contemporaries, like Richard Wright and Baldwin. He draws on clearly autobiographical experiences as a young black writer in the '40s, 50's and 60's, but so much of the feeling is like it happened yesterday.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donna Davis

    The Man Who Cried I Am was originally published during the turmoil of the late 1960’s, in the throes of the Civil Rights and antiwar movements, and following the assassinations of President Kennedy, his brother Bobby, Martin Luther King Junior, and Malcolm X. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a long-overdue second civil rights movement, and this title is published again. We can read it digitally thanks to Open Road Integrated Media. I was invited to read it by them and the fine people at Net The Man Who Cried I Am was originally published during the turmoil of the late 1960’s, in the throes of the Civil Rights and antiwar movements, and following the assassinations of President Kennedy, his brother Bobby, Martin Luther King Junior, and Malcolm X. Now we find ourselves in the midst of a long-overdue second civil rights movement, and this title is published again. We can read it digitally thanks to Open Road Integrated Media. I was invited to read it by them and the fine people at Net Galley. I read it free in exchange for an honest review. It is available for purchase now. The story is a fictionalized account of the life of writer Richard Wright, one of the giants within African-American literature. I am ashamed to say that although I did pick up a copy of both Native Son and Black Boy, his two most famous books, they were still perched on my to-read pile when this invitation rolled in. I found myself perusing this meaty material without knowing anything about Wright himself, apart from his legendary stature and his occupation. I wanted to be able to give my readers a strong critical analysis of this novel, but I have really struggled with it. I found myself having to do a Wiki search in order to figure out whether Max Reddick or Harry Ames was supposed to be Wright. It’s embarrassing. I will read it over again and try to publish something more useful than this review in the future, but I promised to publish my thoughts on the book no later than today—a week following its release—and so I’m going to tell you what I can. As literary fiction, it’s strong. Ames, who is Wright, as it turns out, and Reddick, who is James Baldwin fictionalized, go on an Odyssey all their own, leaving the USA and its myriad racial issues behind for Europe. A number of other historical luminaries are recognizable in its pages by different names, in addition to those called by their real names, such as Dewy and Truman, and philosopher Camus. The time period spans from post-World War II to the Civil Rights movement. So many social issues are embraced here that I found myself making far more notes and highlighting more quotes than I can use. The debate unfolds as to how the Communist Party USA treats artists, as opposed to workers, and even touches briefly on the assassination of Trotsky at the hands of a Stalinist agent. Discrimination against African-American (then referred to as Negro) soldiers in the Buffaloes is part of Reddick’s inner narrative. Black Pride had not yet had its day, and Black men often coveted relationships with Caucasian women, partly (as Malcolm X pointed out) from self-hatred, partly as a social status symbol, and occasionally for the practical material benefits of marrying into, or becoming aligned with, a woman that had access to money. But this was also a double-edged sword, because the women’s movement hadn’t occurred yet either, and women were supposed to stay home and have babies while their men went off to work. The whole thing is very complicated. In this time prior to the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that made abortion legal for American women, an unwanted pregnancy is dispatched by a doctor who is supposed to be quite good and risk free, but of course, the procedure is not legal, and there are no emergency facilities available. One of the characters loses the woman he loves when she bleeds to death after a back-alley abortion. This is not intended to be the primary focus of the book, but it’s huge to me, and so it stayed with me. Be aware that there are scores of ugly racist terms, used for the purpose of highlighting racism, as well as sexist terms and references to gay men as the f-word. All references are either there because of the time period in which the story is set or for the purpose of defining the struggle of the Black man in America, but readers have a right to know and to brace themselves. There are descriptions of the atrocities visited upon European Jews during the war, as well as references to their struggle in the USA, primarily New York City; again, there are some ugly terms used. Should you read this title? Not at the beach. This excellent novel is for the serious student of African-American history and for the history student focused on social justice. It’s more than worth your while, and I will re-read it myself after I have read Wright’s work. Just understand that there are many, many historical references that will make you reach for Google. The story was written during a time when the average reader had most of these things—from clothing styles such as zoot suits and pegged pants, to offhand references to the cigarette jingles that once punctuated our radio and television broadcasts as frequently as Coke and Pepsi do now, to slang terms whose use is either gone or worse, changed to mean something else. For example, if someone is high, they haven’t been using street drugs; they are drunk. None of these things is explained to the reader. We must have them stored in our memories; search for the meanings of unfamiliar references; or attempt to understand the text without knowing them. I consider this literature to be accessible only to those that read at college level. Highly recommended for those that take African-American literature and history seriously, and whose reading ability is well above average.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    A fantastic novel that demands close attention. Complex characters, a plot that could be considered epic (or at least cinematic). A great comment on America, on writing, and on race. Williams has a number of good novels that are sadly overlooked. (He's also got a couple of stinkers, but who doesn't?) Check out !Click Song for more on black writers and the struggle to publish; This is My Country Too! for a fantastic look at american in the 60s; and Sissie, for a novel about family dynamics that p A fantastic novel that demands close attention. Complex characters, a plot that could be considered epic (or at least cinematic). A great comment on America, on writing, and on race. Williams has a number of good novels that are sadly overlooked. (He's also got a couple of stinkers, but who doesn't?) Check out !Click Song for more on black writers and the struggle to publish; This is My Country Too! for a fantastic look at american in the 60s; and Sissie, for a novel about family dynamics that plays with POV and voice.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This is one of those books you should read. I had a hard time with it. I felt some scenes were underdeveloped, the shifts in time (especially early on) made me want to give up several times, and there were preachy passages. But, if you want to know African American lit, this is a formative book in the cannon after WWII. So, it was worth reading, but it took me forever. I wouldn't say that I liked it, but I know a lot of people who do. Maybe this is one of those books you either love or hate. This is one of those books you should read. I had a hard time with it. I felt some scenes were underdeveloped, the shifts in time (especially early on) made me want to give up several times, and there were preachy passages. But, if you want to know African American lit, this is a formative book in the cannon after WWII. So, it was worth reading, but it took me forever. I wouldn't say that I liked it, but I know a lot of people who do. Maybe this is one of those books you either love or hate.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eileen

    How is John A. Williams not as famous as his contemporaries James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison? This book is a masterpiece and more relevant today than ever. The Man Who Cried I Am opens in the 1940s and was published only twenty years after World War II. Williams was clearly affected by the Holocaust and the disturbing parallels between the experiences of European Jews and black Americans (his 1999 novel Clifford's Blues is set in Dachau). Writing during the height of the Cold War, Williams forces How is John A. Williams not as famous as his contemporaries James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison? This book is a masterpiece and more relevant today than ever. The Man Who Cried I Am opens in the 1940s and was published only twenty years after World War II. Williams was clearly affected by the Holocaust and the disturbing parallels between the experiences of European Jews and black Americans (his 1999 novel Clifford's Blues is set in Dachau). Writing during the height of the Cold War, Williams forces us to acknowledge that it is fascism, never Communism, that is the true threat, because its tenets are woven into the very fabric of America itself. The Man Who Cried I Am is a difficult read and absolutely terrifying in the truths its speaks. Holy shit, just read this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Janne

    I don't know how I had missed this book when it first came out: it is a wonderful description of the experience of a black man, an intelligent, ambitious black man trying to live his life in the US of the 50s and 60s. Williams is able to make me, an aging white female from Brazil, feel the angst and the rage of the narrator. Things were changing in this country, but not fast enough for the ones living at the time. The characters portrayed in the book supposedly are based on real life black write I don't know how I had missed this book when it first came out: it is a wonderful description of the experience of a black man, an intelligent, ambitious black man trying to live his life in the US of the 50s and 60s. Williams is able to make me, an aging white female from Brazil, feel the angst and the rage of the narrator. Things were changing in this country, but not fast enough for the ones living at the time. The characters portrayed in the book supposedly are based on real life black writers and musicians, and apparently even Malcolm X makes an appearance, although I couldn't really recognize him. Marvelously written, compelling book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dean Landsman

    This book, first published n 1967, tells of classified government plans for dealing with racial unrest. A remarkable story, dealt with by the brilliant author John A. Williams as a work of fiction, foreshadows much of the "contingency" planning of the government to deal with issues as they might arise. Now, as we see the doings of various intelligence agencies snooping, prying, eavesdropping, and gathering intel of all sorts, contingency plans and government planning for numerous "what if" scena This book, first published n 1967, tells of classified government plans for dealing with racial unrest. A remarkable story, dealt with by the brilliant author John A. Williams as a work of fiction, foreshadows much of the "contingency" planning of the government to deal with issues as they might arise. Now, as we see the doings of various intelligence agencies snooping, prying, eavesdropping, and gathering intel of all sorts, contingency plans and government planning for numerous "what if" scenarios becomes an even more hair-raising concept.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    3.5 stars, though I'm still digesting it. I think it's obviously an important novel, and is a no-holds-barred account of what it was like to be a black man and writer from the 40s-60s. There's a lot of anger (which is understandable), and the attitudes toward women were not super progressive, which I guess is also in keeping with the times. Ultimately, even though it was a bit of a bummer to get through, and slow in some parts, I'm glad I read it. 3.5 stars, though I'm still digesting it. I think it's obviously an important novel, and is a no-holds-barred account of what it was like to be a black man and writer from the 40s-60s. There's a lot of anger (which is understandable), and the attitudes toward women were not super progressive, which I guess is also in keeping with the times. Ultimately, even though it was a bit of a bummer to get through, and slow in some parts, I'm glad I read it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Everyone needs to read John A. Williams, a writer I'm sad to have only discovered this month. There's so much to talk about here and the issues of race addressed in the novel, particularly within publishing and literature are ones we're still struggling with today. Everyone needs to read John A. Williams, a writer I'm sad to have only discovered this month. There's so much to talk about here and the issues of race addressed in the novel, particularly within publishing and literature are ones we're still struggling with today.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I was very engaged in the main storyline of this book about a male author suffering painful colon cancer who was visiting his former wife and other acquaintances in Europe following the death of a fellow writer and friend. His trip was laced with flashbacks and memories while he was resting, dozing, sleeping, usually after taking pain medication (morphine). Through these stories, I learned about his history, and the impetus for this trip. Another plot involved a white supremacist conspiracy that I was very engaged in the main storyline of this book about a male author suffering painful colon cancer who was visiting his former wife and other acquaintances in Europe following the death of a fellow writer and friend. His trip was laced with flashbacks and memories while he was resting, dozing, sleeping, usually after taking pain medication (morphine). Through these stories, I learned about his history, and the impetus for this trip. Another plot involved a white supremacist conspiracy that ended up killing him. Conspiracies don't interest me, BUT reading this one as "white supremacy" with or without an actual organized motivation did add to the book. This novel deals with the struggle and dreams of black American men moving through the US's systemic racism. It is heartbreaking to see the way they work to engage and improve the system while being constantly beat down - even, especially when they achieve some level of success. Like many, I am surprised that I didn't hear more buzz about this book when discussing classic or important black American literature. It belongs in that conversation. The writing is good and easy to read, and this book shows racism for its system, not its individual acts. It's an important and challenging opportunity for those willing to face it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Donald Quist

    A greatly under-appreciated piece of U.S. Geopolitical Fiction. Its publication in 1967, months after the reprint of Cane, makes this book one of the driving narratives of the civil rights movement and black power movement. Williams’s King Alfred Plan puts this book in conversation with Ishmael Reed’s Wallflower Order & Knights of Templar in Mumbo Jumbo.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Stoessel

    I need to reread this. I read this book during a period of my life when I was obsessed with the lives of African American expats living abroad during the 60s. As an added bonus, many parts take place in Amsterdam, a city I love.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ona

    Hard not to compare him to James Baldwin...and this book is a great complement to those of the Master.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Harley

    Growing up in a small farming community in central Illinois in the 1960's, I had little access to bookstores. The closest was 25 miles away in Peoria. Since I was dependent on our small local library and our church library for books, I subscribed to the Doubleday Book Club. One of the books I bought through the club was The Man Who Cried I Am. I cannot remember if I read it, but I am sure that I probably did not fully grasp the meaning of the book given my small town upbringing. Somewhere over t Growing up in a small farming community in central Illinois in the 1960's, I had little access to bookstores. The closest was 25 miles away in Peoria. Since I was dependent on our small local library and our church library for books, I subscribed to the Doubleday Book Club. One of the books I bought through the club was The Man Who Cried I Am. I cannot remember if I read it, but I am sure that I probably did not fully grasp the meaning of the book given my small town upbringing. Somewhere over the years I gave the book away. I purchased the ebook a few weeks ago and was surprised to find the introduction by Walter Mosley, one of my favorite writers. Written in the 1960's, the novel tells the story of a black writer during the last three days of his life. Max Reddick, who is dying of cancer, is in Europe for the funeral of a fellow writer. The book is filled with memories of his life in the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's, including the women he loved, the people he knew and the challenges he faced living in the United States and Europe as a black man. The book skips back and forth in time and the reader must play close attention because there is no warning that a time shift has occurred. While the world has changed a lot in the last 50 years, much of it remains the same. The hearts of people are still corrupt, mean-spirited and violent. The forces that assassinated Kennedy and King are still with us. Now crazy people kill young children. Racism and violence are still with us. This book should be read by all who have trouble understanding what it means to be a minority in the United States and by those who fail to understand what is behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

    There is a long history of fiction that is written as a thinly veiled representation of famous people in a segment of society. Collette and Simone de Beauvoir wrote about Paris society. The Man Who Cried I Am (1967), by John A. Williams, gives the same treatment to African-American intellectuals of the 1950’s and 60’s. Published in 1967, The Man Who Cried I Am follows the life of Max Reddick, am African-American writer who is deeply involved with the literary and political world of that era. It i There is a long history of fiction that is written as a thinly veiled representation of famous people in a segment of society. Collette and Simone de Beauvoir wrote about Paris society. The Man Who Cried I Am (1967), by John A. Williams, gives the same treatment to African-American intellectuals of the 1950’s and 60’s. Published in 1967, The Man Who Cried I Am follows the life of Max Reddick, am African-American writer who is deeply involved with the literary and political world of that era. It includes characters based on Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcom X. Williams’ story explores the racism of of that era on many levels, and offers a realistic and nuanced look at it from the inside. Whether it is the problem of getting books published, finding steady employment as a writer, or just interacting with white society, The Man does not shy away from racism. It follows Max through is his life in the United States, World War II, and living as an ex-pat in both Europe and Africa. I can’t say that this book really engaged me. I had trouble holding interest in it, mostly, I feel because I did not find great insight into the historical characters presented. I feel that they are all presented as the visible surface of the people that they represent, without (except for one character) any real depth. I also have to say that the “surprise ending” that takes up the last 10% of the book, did not serve the author’s intent. It was an idea that deserved its own book, but here seemed to me a dive into conspiracy, when the reality is mean enough on its own. The Man Who Cried I Am is worth a read if you have an interest in Black intellectuals of that era, the history of the United States, or of racism in this country. The protagonist is thoughtful portrayed, I just wish the others would have been also.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carmen

    For those always complaining about people making everything about race need to have this book placed in their hands. Everything is about race. Max Reddick is reminded of that every day of his life. When we meet him at the beginning of the book he is doomed the why and how of it unfolds throughout the novel. We see a talented writer ground down through constant discrimination. We keep watching hoping that these might get better but we the reader and Max all get crushed at the end. This book should For those always complaining about people making everything about race need to have this book placed in their hands. Everything is about race. Max Reddick is reminded of that every day of his life. When we meet him at the beginning of the book he is doomed the why and how of it unfolds throughout the novel. We see a talented writer ground down through constant discrimination. We keep watching hoping that these might get better but we the reader and Max all get crushed at the end. This book should be on the curriculum. How different my school experience if we were exposed to racism through this book rather than “To kill a Mockingbird”

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbikat60

    ABSOLUTELY A MUST READ It’s 2019, anti Semitism is rising and the majority of attacks in the New York area caused by blacks. White supremacy is no longer in hiding and they are marching openly, spreading their bile. This book is so relevant in regard to a majority of concerns related to race relations particularly in the United States of America. This book should be required reading.

  23. 5 out of 5

    NCHS Library

    From Good Reads: The Man Who Cried I Am follows the life of Max Reddick, am African-American writer who is deeply involved with the literary and political world of that era. It includes characters based on Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcom X.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Has its flaws (especially in its treatment of women) but very powerful. Recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Liquidlasagna

    One of the most fascinating books of 1967

  26. 5 out of 5

    Max Arvidsson

    Phenomenal book that is still to this day relevant to what is currently going on in the states.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Toni-Ann Johnson

    This was a compelling and superbly written novel. The ideas around racism and the marginalization of Black men continue to be relevant.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marley KD

    How on earth did I not know about this book? Powerful, important, a must read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    R.K. Byers

    this guy wishes he'd been James Baldwin. this guy wishes he'd been James Baldwin.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna Bijas

    Hard to formulate a review when a book that is fiction reads as non-fiction and could be semi-autobiographical of the writer,Richard Wright. John Williams creates a masterpiece describing the lives of blacks in America vs those in Europe. I can't believe this has not gotten more play in that it was published in 1967. Scary thing is that I would not be surprised if the King Alfred Plan was real. Fabulous read. Hard to formulate a review when a book that is fiction reads as non-fiction and could be semi-autobiographical of the writer,Richard Wright. John Williams creates a masterpiece describing the lives of blacks in America vs those in Europe. I can't believe this has not gotten more play in that it was published in 1967. Scary thing is that I would not be surprised if the King Alfred Plan was real. Fabulous read.

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