‘CLR James: Cricket’s Philosopher King’ reviewed

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cbeat

CLR James: Cricket’s Philosopher King reviewed in Caribbean Beat, September-October 2014

Dave Renton avoids easy hagiography in his examination of the Trinidadian thinker James in his Cricketing Marxist aspect, with results that make for lucid, sympathetic reading. Cricket’s Philosopher King is, in the sum of its parts, a working sociology of the rules (and accompanying uncertainties) governing what is arguable the Caribbean’s most beautiful, historically knotty sport. The biographer judiciously and generously outfits his text with direct quotes from James’ own writings, largely from the famed 1963 Beyond a Boundary. Everything returns, much like a wicket-seeking wind ball, to James’ equalising passion in cricket, in his faith that the game could be the ultimate social leveller. “If Resistance”, opines Renton, “can be found in two batsmen dressed in whites, then truly, joyfully, it must be everywhere.”

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