My history hero: CLR James (1901–89)

Writer and broadcaster Kenan Malik explains why he admires a novelist, orator, philosopher and revolutionary

Afro-Trinidadian historian, journalist and socialist Cyril Lionel Robert James talking to a group of students at Speakers' Corner, London, in 1967. (Photo by Roy Milligan/Daily Express/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the June 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine 

CLR James (1901–89) was born and raised in Trinidad, where he began to write works of fiction. He emigrated to Britain in the 1930s and became involved in left-wing political activism. James is best-known for his lengthy writing career which encompassed a broad range of topics from politics to history and cricket. He spent 15 years living in the USA from 1938 to 1953, before returning to the UK, where he spent most of the remainder of his life.

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