It was only after I had completed the draft of this study that I had an opportunity to meet and correspond with several individuals who had worked with C. L. R. James during his first extended stay in the United States, a remarkable band of people I had first heard about from James himself nearly two decades previously. I want to thank them here for their welcome, and for the future work they have made possible. Martin Glaberman invited me to his hospital bedside to talk about James, actually read my manuscript, and has continued to provide me with assistance in the months since he returned to work. (Judging from what I saw in the hospital, he had never left work.) Grace Lee Boggs has generously taken time to answer my questions and has provided me with copies of her later writings. She also put me in touch with Freddy Paine, and I particularly want to thank Freddy for meeting with me under trying circumstances and for providing me with a wealth of information, as well as a sampling from her fruit trees. The exceptional personal qualities of these activists, writers, and thinkers made it clear to me why James still spoke so fervently of their work together after so much time and controversy had passed between them. Each of them will recognize the significance of this book's dedication, to which I can only add here, in the words of a favorite song, "Oh, how I wish I could be in that number."
Seetha A-Srinivasan sought me out when she learned of my work on James's legacy, and it is because of her that this book exists. Few editors share her expansive vision, and I am grateful to her for her trust in me. I have been fortunate in my career to have worked with many fine publishing professionals. The staff of the University Press of Mississippi are among the most gracious and helpful I have yet encountered.
While there is already much contention among scholars examining the work and life of C. L. R. James, the field is rapidly gathering force from some of the fine studies that have appeared in recent years. I cannot here name every individual to whom I am indebted, but the following have all, in word or deed, often without knowing it, encouraged me by their example: Robert Hill, Sylvia Winter, Paul Buhle, Selwyn Cudjoe, Paget Henry, Scott McLemee, Kent Worcester, Gregory Rigsby, E. Ethelbert Miller, Anna
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Publication information: Book title: C. L. R. James:A Critical Introduction. Contributors: Aldon Lynn Nielsen - Author. Publisher: University Press of Mississippi. Place of publication: Jackson, MS. Publication year: 1997. Page number: ix.