W.E.B. DU BOIS by W.E.B. Du Bois


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 W.E.B. Du Bois lived nearly a century, from 1868 to 1963. It was a century of radical transformation in the status of blacks in the US, and Du Bois himself was at the forefront of the struggle for equality. But the trajectory of his life and thought was uniquely his own. Here Lewis, author of W.E.B. Du Bois (1993), collects scores of essays, articles, and poems that show a lucid, moral, incisive, passionate, and at times prescient mind at work. In his 1890 Harvard commencement address, Du Bois decries Jefferson Davis as a representative of Teutonic civilization, which ``champion[s] the idea of Personal Assertion'' and ``tends...towards Despotism.'' With a finely honed sensitivity to all forms of racism and sexism, in 1915 he advocates women's suffrage; and as early as 1936, he writes that Germany is waging ``world war on Jews.'' In 1906, at the Niagara Movement meeting, he says, ``We do not believe in violence.'' But by 1957, now on the path to communism, Du Bois castigates Martin Luther King: ``So long as a people insults, murders, and hates by hereditary teaching, non-violence can bring no peace.'' An indispensable--and remarkably relevant--assemblage of writings.

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 1995
ISBN: 0-8050-3264-9
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1994