James Baldwin Biography

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The late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American author James Baldwin provides a striking example of how a young person's love of reading can dramatically affect his or her later life. Baldwin was born on December 15, 1841, at an isolated Quaker settlement in rural Indiana (Hamilton County), a community in which few people owned any book other than the Bible, and where reading was viewed with suspicion. Fortunately, Baldwin's own home was an exception to the rule in this backwoods community, for Baldwin's father had assembled an extensive personal library.

At an early age Baldwin immersed himself in his father's books. His precocious love of reading soon set him apart from other members of his community, and prompted criticism from neighbors and friends. Despite such disapproval, Baldwin's portrait of the community, contained in the autobiographical In My Youth, is warm and affectionate.

Lacking formal schooling, Baldwin educated himself...

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This section contains 680 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Story of Roland Short Guide
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The Story of Roland from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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