In his study of Herman Melville, "Mariners, Renegades and Castaways" (1976) C.L.R. James wrote: "My ultimate aim...is to write a study of American Civilization". This project, long in gestation, at last sees the light of day in this posthumous publication of what may be seen as the most wide-ranging expression of James's thought, the link between his mature writings on politics and his semi-autobiographical work, "Beyond a Boundary". In the tradition of de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America", James addresses the fundamental question of the "right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Ranging across American politics, society and culture, C.L.R. James sets out to integrate his analysis of American society in transition with a commentary on the popular arts of cinema and literature.