Mind of Oliver C Cox
The African American Intellectual Heritage
Born in Trinidad in 1901, Oliver Cromwell Cox emigrated to the United States in 1919, where he remained until his death in 1974. After earning advanced degrees in economics and sociology from the University of Chicago, Cox established himself as an impressive, but controversial, sociologist. His best-known work, Caste, Class, and Race (1948), was the first of five books that Cox would publish. In spite of his numerous scholarly contributions in the areas of social theory, political economy, and historical sociology, Cox’s significance has remained relatively unacknowledged in recent decades. In this intellectual biography, Christopher A. McAuley seeks to change that. McAuley’s approach to Cox’s life and work is shaped by his belief that Cox’s Caribbean upbringing and background gave him an unorthodox perspective on race, capitalism, and social change. Part 1 of the book chronicles Cox’s life in Trinidad and the United States. Part 2 analyzes Cox’s theory and history of the development of capitalism from thirteenth-century Venice to twentieth-century America. Part 3 provides an exposition of Cox’s typology of race relations, as well as his thoughts on the anti-Asian movement in California and the differences between black and Jewish experiences in the West. The last section of the book focuses on Cox’s theory of social transformation, highlighting his rejection of ethnic nationalism in favor of evolutionary socialism. The Mind of Oliver C. Cox offers a much needed analysis of Cox’s important scholarly writings as well as insight into the life of this remarkable figure.
“This book makes a major contribution to the literature on Cox—a figure we need to know more about. It will cause many to ponder and reflect.” ~Gerald Horne
“Christopher McAuley presents an interesting and well researched work in The Mind of Oliver Cox. As McAuley notes, Oliver Cox has not received sufficient attention by scholars and intellectuals who study issues of race and class. McAuley makes a strong contribution to remedy the oversight.” ~Joy James