Kill 'em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul - James McBride

Staff Pick

Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul (Spiegel & Grau, $28; paper, $17) intertwines two of author James McBride’s greatest passions and talents – writing and music – in this biography of legendary soul singer James Brown. To those of us who grew up listening to his music in the 1960s, James Brown was the Godfather of Soul and the musical father of Black Pride. He did his own version of the moonwalk in high-heeled boots! He did the splits in a suit! He had faux fainting spells! And his cape! Brown had, the author contends, as profound an influence on American social history as Harriet Tubman or Frederick Douglass. But much of his reputation and legacy became tangled up in unflattering impressions and tragic incidents from his life, too often leaving him marked and misinterpreted as more of a simple caricature than the complicated cultural icon and enormously talented artist he truly was. McBride, the 2013 National Book Award winner for fiction (The Good Lord Bird) tells Brown’s story, in one reviewer’s words, as “a furious ode.”

Kill 'em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul By James McBride Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780812993509
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Spiegel & Grau - April 5th, 2016

Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul By James McBride Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780812983739
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - November 1st, 2016