"Hall, characteristically, refused such easy identifications, as either deracinated man of the New Left or postcolonial black theorist. Nowhere is this clearer than in Hall’s own ego-histoire, Familiar Stranger. . . [which], like the two volumes in the series already published by Duke, reminds us that for Hall thinking historically was essential to understanding ourselves and the conditions in which we live." — James Vernon, Public Books
"Hall, characteristically, refused such easy identifications, as either deracinated man of the New Left or postcolonial black theorist. Nowhere is this clearer than in Hall’s own ego-histoire, Familiar Stranger. . . [which], like the two volumes in the series already published by Duke, reminds us that for Hall thinking historically was essential to understanding ourselves and the conditions in which we live." —James Vernon, Public Books
“The publication of Familiar Stranger is truly an event. Contemplative and incisive, heart-wrenching and hilarious, profound and thought-provoking, the book demonstrates why Stuart Hall was our most brilliant thinker on identity and struggle, and why in the age of Brexit and Trumpism he is sorely missed. He embodied a capacious understanding of race, nation, and diaspora, and drew on his own life to reveal the conjunctural relationships between structures of oppression and the spaces of possibility, between lived experience and modalities of power. For those unfamiliar with Hall, this book ought to be the starting point.” — Robin D. G. Kelley, author of, Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times
“This extraordinary book tells us something of how Stuart Hall, this remarkable thinker, teacher, and theorist of a renewed Left, came to be. We see how his exceptional ability to weave together politics, history, depth psychology, and cultural identity is rooted in the never fully resolved displacements, tensions, and conflicts of his life. This work, fascinating and engaging as the story of his early life, is also immensely instructive as an account of an evolving theory, wide and many-facetted, capable of doing something like full justice to the important changes of our time.” — Charles Taylor
“Stuart Hall analyzes the complexities of migration that left all British Commonwealth citizens puzzled by the political character of the word Black in the recent construction: British Black. He argues that race, which was always there, meaning difference, is now given a surprising interpretation in the social relations that define all people who are not white. This is a miracle of a book constructed by different hands but carrying always the dominant critical signature of Stuart Hall.” — George Lamming
“Much more than a memoir, Familiar Stranger is a fascinating insight into how a life shapes a brilliant mind.” — Andrea Levy
“Compelling. Stuart Hall’s story is the story of an age. He was a pioneer in the struggle for racial, cultural, and political liberation. He has transformed the way we think.” — Owen Jones
From Chapter 1
“I was born and formed in the closing days of the old colonial world. They are my conditions of existence. This is, as I see it, the starting point for narrating my life, the source of a curious, unreachable, and abiding unease. . . . As the great Trinidadian C. L. R. James once said of Caribbean migrants to the U.K., we are “in, but not of, Europe.” . . .In Jamaica, I wasn’t of course an exile. But there is a sense in which, although I belong to it, Jamaica worked to “other” me. As a consequence, I experience my life as sharply divided into two unequal but entangled, disproportionate halves. . . . Because of radically changing locations, I have belonged, in different ways, to both at different times of my life, without ever being fully of either.” — Stuart Hall, from Chapter 1
If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;
If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).
If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).
Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.
If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact email@example.com. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.
Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.
Sign up for Subject Matters email updates to receive discounts, new book announcements, and more.