William J. Maxwell

William J. Maxwell is Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches modern American and African American literatures. He is the author of the books F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature (Princeton University Press, 2015), which won an American Book Award in 2016, and New Negro, Old Left: African American Writing and Communism between the Wars (Columbia University Press, 1999). He is the editor of James Baldwin: The FBI File (Arcade-Simon and Schuster, 2017); of Claude McKay’s Complete Poems (University of Illinois Press, 2004); and, with Gary Holcomb, of McKay’s previously unpublished novel Romance in Marseille (Penguin Classics, 2020). His book in progress, James Baldwinism Now: Civil Rights Memory in the Era of Black Lives Matter, will be published by Princeton University Press in 2024, the centennial of Baldwin’s birth.

Interviews with William J. Maxwell

The best books on The Harlem Renaissance, recommended by William J. Maxwell

It was a golden age for American culture, a flourishing of Black literature, music and the arts that exploded in the 1910s and lasted through to the Great Depression. It was focused on Harlem, the area of New York City above Central Park, but its origins and its impact were much, much broader. William J. Maxwell, Professor of English and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, recommends some of the best books on the Harlem Renaissance.

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