Nothing Personal

May 4, 2021
Nothing Personal

James Baldwin’s critique of American society at theheight of the civil rights movement brings his prescient thoughtson social isolation, race, and police brutality to a new generationof readers.Available for the first time in a stand-aloneedition, Nothing Personal is Baldwin’s deepprobe into the American condition. Considering the Black LivesMatter protests in the summer of 2020 – which were met with teargas and rubber bullets the same year white supremacists entered theUS Capitol with little resistance, openly toting flags of theConfederacy – Baldwin’s documentation of his own troubled timescuts to the core of where we find ourselves today.Baldwin’s thoughts move through an interconnected range ofquestions, from America’s fixation on eternal youth, to its refusalto recognize the past, its addiction to consumerism, and thelovelessness that fuels it in its cities and popular culture. Herecounts his own encounter with police in a scene disturbinglysimilar to those we see today documented with ever increasingimmediacy. This edition also includes a new foreword frominterdisciplinary scholar Imani Perry and an afterword from notedBaldwin scholar Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Both explore and situate theessay within the broader context of Baldwin’s work, the Movementfor Black Lives, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the presidency ofDonald Trump.Nothing Personal is both a eulogy and adeclaration of will. In bringing this work into the twenty-firstcentury, readers new and old will take away fundamental andrecurring truths about life in the US. It is both a call to action,and an appeal to love and to life.