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UP CLOSE: W.E.B. DU BOIS by Tonya Bolden


by Tonya Bolden

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-670-06302-4
Publisher: Viking

W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the leading intellectuals of the 20th century, often declared “the colour line” its defining problem, and his writing remains relevant today. This accessible biography covers the highlights of Du Bois’s long life, from his early conflicts with Booker T. Washington, his definition of the “Talented Tenth,” his founding of the NAACP and work with its magazine The Crisis, to the challenges of the Depression, the war years and the early civil-rights movement. Bolden ranges far and wide, her casual and folksy tone often detracting from the seriousness of her subject. Referring to Andrew Johnson’s acquittal on impeachment charges, she writes that Blacks thought “Rats!” One of Du Bois’s professors is described as “a real hound dog on history,” Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s house was “ka-boomed” by left-wingers and his daughter’s marriage “was tanking.” Though not one of the stronger entries in this series, it’s still a good introduction to an important American figure. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12 & up)