Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, Vol 1: An Artist's Journey, 1898-1939]

Magazine article New Internationalist

[The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, Vol 1: An Artist's Journey, 1898-1939]

Article excerpt

The Undiscovered Paul Robeson:

Volume 1, An Artist's Journey, 1898-1939

by Paul Robeson Jr

(John Wiley, ISBN 0 471 24265 9)

Paul Robeson was an iconic figure of the 20th century; not only a truly great singer and actor but also a political activist and courageous fighter against injustice. In this new biography, his son, Paul Robeson Jr writes of the father he knew - both the public figure and the private, troubled man.

An Artist's Journey covers the first four decades of Robeson's life. Drawing heavily on letters and other archival material, it traces a career that encompassed artistic and commercial success; great singing tours and acting triumphs such as The Emperor Jones and Othello.

Reviewing the first of two volumes presents particular problems. Throughout these early years, Robeson steadfastly resisted political involvement and insisted his only role was that of a performer. …

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