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'An intellect as dazzling as it was unique'
'Enormously welcome … Enabling new, younger, audiences to discover Marqusee’s magnificent prose and acute political insight'
This rich selection of Mike Marqusee’s writing captures the kaleidoscopic mind of a polymath who delighted in deploying one sphere of knowledge to provide exhilarating insight into others.
These pages illuminate the connections and contrasts between William Blake and Thomas Paine, Bob Dylan and Muhammad Ali, cricket and the nation state, Jewish identity and the BDS campaign, flamenco music and the films of John Ford, and the vagaries of political activism, often working closely with those who, subsequent to Mike’s untimely death in 2015, went on to lead the Labour Party.
The extraordinary profusion of Mike’s interests was rooted in a lifelong commitment to socialism, a recognition of the transformative nature of art, an expansive internationalism, and a commitment to intellectual and personal honesty.
In marveling at this tapestry of some of his most memorable writing we can share another defining characteristic of its author’s outlook: a joyful appreciation that life’s pleasures are there for the sampling.
Mike Marqusee (1953-2015) was an American-born writer, journalist and political activist who spent the last four and half decades of his life in London. He is the author of numerous books including The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer, If I Am Not for Myself: Journey of an Anti-Zionist Jew, Wicked Messenger: Bob Dylan and the Sixties, Redemption Song: Muhammad Ali and the Spirit of the Sixties, Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Inside Kinnock’s Labour Party, War Minus the Shooting: A Journey Through South Asia During Cricket’s World Cup, a novel, Slow Turn, and two collections of poetry.