"A timely, unique, and generative study of Johnson’s literary works, this book is a must read for those seeking to better understand Johnson’s literary works, the traditions that have informed them, and have, in turn, been transformed by his creative contributions.—The American Philosophical Association Newsletter
""Moving from the work that has come before her (and to which she herself contributed), Selzer explores Johnson's writing from within three major intellectual contexts, producing an interpretation of Johnson's work and importance that is impressive in its depth and intellectual power. . . . Her readings of his work are rich, and her overarching emphasis on the intellectual 'context' to his work provides a compelling view of not just Johnson's career, but the larger intellectual currents through which he has moved in the last four decades. The result is a very learned study, one that contributes not just to our understanding of one of the most important American writers of this age, but also to several major strands of intellectual history that—if the recent presidential election is any evidence—have become decisive for our time.""—Callaloo
""An effective hybrid of literary criticism, literary biography, and cultural history, Linda Furgerson Selzer’s Charles Johnson in Context (2009) reads Johnson’s oeuvre alongside a varied and often overlooked range of philosophical and historical inter-texts. Her wide-ranging study achieves structural cohesion through her thesis that Johnson’s novelistic career may be charted as an intellectual and moral progression toward a unique and expansive vision of social justice. . . . Without question, Selzer presents a refreshing and thoroughly researched perspective on Johnson and his work. . . . Selzer’s study is especially valuable for its identification of understudied but noteworthy cultural terrains such as black Buddhism and black philosophy in academe. These cultural formations prove essential to a more comprehensive understanding of Johnson’s oeuvre, and Selzer’s sustained consideration of them will doubtlessly appeal to Johnson scholars and generalists alike in African American studies.""—African American Review"