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CLR James' Beyond a Boundary, written while he was in exile, remains the best study on the history of cricket and its impact on a society that was divided along the lines of class and nationality. In this article, Mike Marqusee traces the journey of the book and the immense intellectual insight that James provides, transcending history, sport, sociology and politics.
As innovative in form as it is in content, Beyond a Boundary is uncategorisable, a blend of memoir, history, theory, journalism, political manifesto. For all its diversity, it has what many of today's hybrid texts lack: a commanding intelligence and a distinctive voice, dry, purposeful, thrillingly and theatrically didactic. The book is all of a piece and would be diminished by the loss of any of its component parts.
Keywords: Cricket books
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