by Gerald Horne
Pluto Press, 2015
Cloth: 978-0-7453-3531-5 | Paper: 978-0-7453-3532-2
Library of Congress Classification E185.97.R63 +

***Winner PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award***

“A fine, taut analysis of the great African American athlete, singer, actor, and political activist.”
Choice, Highly Recommended
Paul Robeson should be remembered today as the forerunner of Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Muhammad Ali. He sacrificed his fame and fortune a performer and athlete in order to fight for the rights of African Americans during the time of Jim Crow and U.S. Apartheid.
A world-famous singer and actor, a trained lawyer, an early star of American professional football and a polyglot who spoke over a dozen languages: these could be the crowning achievements of a life well-lived. Yet for Paul Robeson the higher calling of social justice led him to abandon both the NFL and Hollywood and become one of the most important political activists of his generation, a crusader for freedom and equality who battled both Jim Crow and US Senator Joseph McCarthy during the communist witch hunt of the 1950s.    
In Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary, Gerald Horne discovers within Robeson's remarkable and revolutionary life the story of the twentieth century's great political struggles: against racism, against colonialism, against poverty—and for international socialism. Chapters include:
*”The Best Known American in the World"
*Rising Revolutionary
*From Moscow to Madrid
*"Black Stalin"?
*Robeson: Primary Victim of the "Blacklist"
*Triumph—and Tragedy
*Death of a Revolutionary      
In the Introduction, Horne writes: “Paul Robeson—activist, artist, athlete—experienced a dramatic rise and fall, perhaps unparalleled in U.S. history. From mingling with the elite of London society and Hollywood in the 1930s, by the time he died in 1976, he was a virtual recluse in a plain abode in a working-class neighborhood of Philadelphia. What helps to explicate this tragic art of his life is a fateful decision he made when fascism was rising: he threw in his lot with those battling for socialism and decide to sacrifice his thriving artistic career on behalf of the struggle against Jim Crow—or U.S. apartheid.”
This critical and searching biography provides an opportunity for readers to comprehend the triumphs and tragedies of the revolutionary progressive movement of which Paul Robeson was not just a part, but perhaps its most resonant symbol.