Cover image for W.E.B. DuBois--the fight for equality and the American century, 1919-1963
Title:
W.E.B. DuBois--the fight for equality and the American century, 1919-1963
Author:
Lewis, David L., 1936-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : H. Holt, 2000.
Physical Description:
xiv, 715 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780805025347
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library E185.97.D73 L485 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

The second volume of the Pulitzer Prize--winning biography that "The Washington Post" hailed as "an engrossing masterpiece"
Charismatic, singularly determined, and controversial, W.E.B. Du Bois was a historian, novelist, editor, sociologist, founder of the NAACP, advocate of women's rights, and the premier architect of the Civil Rights movement. His hypnotic voice thunders out of David Levering Lewis's monumental biography like a locomotive under full steam.
This second volume of what is already a classic work begins with the triumphal return from WWI of African American veterans to the shattering reality of racism and lynching even as America discovers the New Negro of literature and art. In stunning detail, Lewis chronicles the little-known political agenda behind the Harlem Renaissance and Du Bois's relentless fight for equality and justice, including his steadfast refusal to allow whites to interpret the aspirations of black America. Seared by the rejection of terrified liberals and the black bourgeoisie during the Communist witch-hunts, Du Bois ended his days in uncompromising exile in newly independent Ghana. In re-creating the turbulent times in which he lived and fought, Lewis restores the inspiring and famed Du Bois to his central place in American history.


Author Notes

David Levering Lewis is the Martin Luther King Professor of History at Rutgers University & was recently awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. "W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919" received the Bancroft, Parkman, & Pulitzer prizes, & was a finalist for the National Book Award & National Book Critics Circle Award. He also wrote "W.E.B. Du Bois: A Reader."

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In the opening pages of the second and final volume of Lewis' masterful biography of the great African American scholar, intellectual, writer, and leader, World War I has ended and Du Bois, at age 52, is hard at work as the distinguished founding editor of the vastly influential journal of opinion, The Crisis, which, as Lewis reminds the reader, had made Du Bois' name familiar in nearly every black household in the country. Furthermore, as most people believed at the time, both black and white, Du Bois was the NAACP. But just like earlier clashes with Booker T. Washington over their differing philosophies of black advancement, Du Bois now stood in conflict with Marcus Garvey, the back-to-Africa proponent. As for himself, Du Bois' international involvement in black issues took the form of participation in the Pan-African movement, which espoused the solidarity of all black people everywhere. As the reader witnesses, Du Bois didn't become any less inflexible in his principles and opinions as he got older. One of the most informative aspects of Lewis' highly perceptive account of this, the second half of Du Bois' life, is his discussion of Du Bois' reactions to and participation in the Harlem Renaissance, the black arts movement centered in Harlem from the 1920s to the 1940s. As time passed, Du Bois became a "walking institution," but he also gravitated toward communism, officially joining the Communist Party late in his life--in fact, on his way to spend his last days away from the U.S. in the African country of Ghana. Lewis does not neglect his subject's personal life, and the result is a well-rounded picture of an extremely consequential figure. --Brad Hooper


Publisher's Weekly Review

This second (and final) volume of Lewis's critically praised biography of one of the founders of the contemporary black civil rights movement and a champion of human rights around the world is as astute and superbly written as the first. Here, in the years after WWI, Lewis finds Du BoisDalready established as one of the most controversial, powerful and persuasive voices of the movement through such books as The Souls of Black Folk and his editorship of the highly influential journal of the NAACP, CrisisDfaced with spiraling white violence against African-Americans as race riots and lynchings increase. Lewis concentrates on Du Bois's attempt to guide the movement through the increasingly precarious complexities of U.S. politics and culture as he explicates such diverse issues as Du Bois's commitment to feminism and women's rights, his dedication to Pan Africanism and his expanding roles as an official and unofficial foreign ambassador for the U.S. government, all of which are controversial both within and outside of the civil rights movement. Lewis is especially adroit at interpreting the complications of Du Bois's personal and emotional life, including his long, though not especially companionable, marriage to his wife, Nina, and his series of "parallel marriages" to other women. The biography is at its most politically and intellectually gripping when it details the tensions and interplay between the NAACP and the American Communist Party during the notorious Scottsboro trial, and later when Arthur Schlesinger Jr. red-baited the civil rights group in an infamous article in Life. While readers will need to read Lewis' first volume to fully appreciate this one, his superb command of the complexity of his subject and time make this a major work of American biography and history. Lewis's two volume biography is not only a must-read for those fascinated by African-American history, but also holds powerful crossover appeal for anyone interested in the racial conflicts at the heart of 20th century American history. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Lewis has again analyzed the historical record with the utmost care to produce this second volume of his highly acclaimed 1993 biography (W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919) of the founder of the NAACP and Pan Africanist leader. Lewis simultaneously narrates the life and legacy of Du Bois and the competing racial, political, and cultural ideologies of the time, which fed Du Bois's tireless activism, writings, and intellect. Salient issues include colonialism, civil rights, women's rights, affirmative action, the peace movement, multicultural education, labor, and more. While it would be easy to heap endless praise on the towering 20th-century American leader and thinker, Lewis should be commended for presenting a balanced, sophisticated portrait of the contradictions that marked Du Bois's private and public lives, not to mention U.S. policies and practices. A masterly reconstruction of the past, this book deserves shelf space in every library.DSherri L. Barnes, Univ. of California Lib., Santa Barbara (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

1 The Reason Whyp. 1
2 Du Bois and Garvey: Two "Pan-Africas"p. 37
3 On Being Crazy and Somewhat Deviousp. 85
4 Rearranging Ethiopia Abroad and at Homep. 118
5 Civil Rights by Copyrightp. 153
6 Bolsheviks and Dark Princessesp. 183
7 The Possibility of Democracy in Americap. 229
8 Holding on, Amorously and Angrilyp. 266
9 A New Racial Philosophyp. 302
10 Atlanta: Black Reconstruction and Casanova Unboundp. 349
11 Dictatorships Compared: Germany, Russia, China, Japanp. 388
12 Atlanta: the Politics of Knowledgep. 422
13 Atlanta: Soldiering onp. 454
14 Against the Grain: From the NAACP to the Far Leftp. 496
15 Exeuntp. 554
Persons Interviewedp. 573
Notesp. 575
Indexp. 689

Google Preview