W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois : Revolutionary Across the Color Line

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On the 27th August, 1963, the day before Martin Luther King electrified the world from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the immortal words, 'I Have a Dream', the life of another giant of the Civil Rights movement quietly drew to a close in Accra, Ghana: W.E.B. DuBois. In this new biography, Bill V. Mullen interprets the seismic political developments of the Twentieth Century through Du Bois's revolutionary life.

Du Bois was born in Massachusetts in 1868, just three years after formal emancipation of America's slaves. In his extraordinarily long and active political life, he would emerge as the first black man to earn a PhD from Harvard; surpass Booker T. Washington as the leading advocate for African American rights; co-found the NAACP, and involve himself in anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggles across Asia and Africa. Beyond his Civil Rights work, Mullen also examines Du Bois's attitudes towards socialism, the USSR, China's Communist Revolution, and the intersectional relationship between capitalism, poverty and racism.

An accessible introduction to a towering figure of American Civil Rights, perfect for anyone wanting to engage with Du Bois's life and work.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 20.32mm | 317.51g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745335063
  • 9780745335063

Table of contents

Preface: Revolutionary Lives Matter: Reclaiming W.E.B. Du Bois For Our Time

Part I: Racial Uplift and the Reform Era

1. Childhood, Youth and Education in an Age of Reform

2. Becoming a Scholar and Activist

3. Socialism, Activism and World War I

Part II: From Moscow to Manchester: 1917-1945

4. Du Bois and the Russian Revolution

5. The Depression, Black Reconstruction, and Du Bois's Asia Turn

6. Pan-Africanism or Communism?

Part III: Revolution and the Cold War 1945-1963

7. Wrestling with the Cold War, Stalinism, and the Blacklist

8. The East is Red: Supporting Revolutions in Asia

9. Final Years, Exile, Death and Legacy



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Review quote

'A must read for anyone interested in the life and work of this pioneering Black revolutionary' -- People's World 'An accessible and valuable work' -- Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch 'Bill Mullen's illuminating biography is essential for understanding the political, personal, and intellectual challenges Du Bois faced in his lifetime search for a black revolutionary praxis' -- Mary Helen Washington, Professor of English at the University of Maryland, author of The Other Blacklist: The African American Literary and Cultural Left of the 1950s (Columbia University Press, 2014) 'This is Marxist biography at its finest. W.E.B. Du Bois is the rare scholarly book that evokes the feeling that our own moment of radical challenge reverberates with the trials of another century, but Mullen proposes an internationalist perspective that re-enchants the story of this activist-intellectual with immediacy' -- Alan Wald, H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor (Emeritus), University of Michigan, author of the American Literary Left Trilogy (UNC Press)
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About Bill V. Mullen

Bill V. Mullen is Professor of American Studies at Purdue University. He is co-editor with Ashley Dawson of Against Apartheid: The Case for Boycotting Israeli Universities (Haymarket, 2015). He is the author of W.E.B. Du Bois: Revolutionary Across the Color Line (Pluto Press, 2016).
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