C. L. R. James at 80
from Urgent Tasks - Number 12
by E. P. Thompson
Summer 1981

Tom Mann and C. L. R. James have one thing in common. On his eightieth birthday, Tom said, "I hope to grow more dangerous as I grow older." C. L. R. has already shown that he intends to do the same. What an extraordinary man he is! It is not a question of whether one agrees with everything he has said or done: but everything has had the mark of originality, of his own flexible, sensitive and deeply cultured intelligence. That intelligence has always been matched by a warm and outgoing personality. He has always conveyed, not a rigid doctrine, but a delight and curiosity in all the manifestations of life. I'm afraid that American theorists will not understand this, but the clue to everything lies in his proper appreciation of the game of cricket.

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