Volume 2 includes the books Shakespeare in Harlem (1942), Jim Crow's Last Stand (1943), Fields of Wonder (1947), and One-Way Ticket (1948). Starting around 1940, Hughes turned away from radical socialism toward strong support for the national war effort; as a poet, he resumed his experimentation in the blues, as Shakespeare in Harlem briliantly demonstrates. With this change in political emphasis came a renewed commitment to the achievement of civil rights for blacks, which Jim Crow's Last Stand vigorously asserts. In contrast, Fields of Wonder was Hughes's only book devoted entirely to lyric verse; but the next volume, One-Way Ticket, restored the balance that was essential to his creative expression as a poet.
About the Editor Arnold Rampersad is Professor Emeritus of English at Stanford University in California. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of numerous publications, including The Life of Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson: A Biography, and, with Arthur Ashe, Days of Grace: A Memoir. He is a 2010 recipient of the National Humanities Medal. About the Author Langston Hughes was one of the most influential and prolific writers of the twentieth century.