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Download W. E. B. Du Bois, 1868-1919: Biography of a Race (Owl Books) epub

by David Levering Lewis

This monumental biography--eight years in the research and writing--treats the early and middle phases of a long and intense career: a crucial fifty-year period that demonstrates how Du Bois changed forever the way Americans think about themselves.

Download W. E. B. Du Bois, 1868-1919: Biography of a Race (Owl Books) epub
ISBN: 0805035680
ISBN13: 978-0805035681
Category: Other
Subcategory: Humanities
Author: David Levering Lewis
Language: English
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; 1st edition (December 15, 1994)
Pages: 752 pages
ePUB size: 1313 kb
FB2 size: 1156 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 495
Other Formats: mbr lrf docx txt

Sociologist, economist, historian, feminist, propogandist...W.E.B. Du Bois was a man of breathtakingly stellar intellect. He became the leading voice in the struggle for black equality and a glaring refutation, held by most whites, that African-Americans were an inferior race. But along with his huge powers of literary persuasion came a man that was arrogant, childishly egocentric, pompous as well as a subpar husband and father. You can not truly have an appreciation of Black America's struggles after the Civil War without understanding this iconic, heroic figure. His clashes with the black political-heavyweight Booker T. Washington, the founding of the NAACP, the rise of Jim Crow as well as the odious tactics of several U.S. Presidents and white powerbrokers are covered. Mr. Lewis takes great pains to explain the cultural mind-set at important junctures in Mr. Du Bois' life. The author has produced an outstanding, engrossing biography of the subject matter's first fifty-one years. Without a doubt, my next book is Mr. Lewis' follow-up volume dealing with the remainder of Mr. Du Bois' life.
David Levering Lewis never disappoints his readers. As with the first half of the Dubois autobiography, this book is well-researched and well-written. I read many biographies and some authors get too bogged down in explaining the subject's motivations, etc. -- to the point that it becomes just plain boring and hard to read. The opposite is true of Lewis. This guy weaves a story that you can not put down, while giving readers a strong understanding of Dubois and the social milieus that he lived in at various points in time. Lewis also provides detailed documentation of sources. He is a fine historian and biographer.
Risky Strong Dromedary
Mr. Lewis' second and final volume about Mr. Du Bois' life is a thorough undertaking which began with his outstanding first book, "Biography of a Race." The author takes the reader through Du Bois' struggles with the demagogue Marcus Garvey, the NAACP, the Depression, WWI and WWII, Southern lynchings, J. Edgar Hoover, Jim Crow and the Red Scare, to name just a few. Mr. Lewis gives ample time to place Du Bois in the social mind-sets of the respective eras in which the icon lived. You get to know this brilliant man, warts and all. Some aspects of his personality are to be greatly admired and other parts of him, such as his eventual near-blind devotion to communism and multiple philanderings, made me cringe. Though I agree that the book feels rushed in presenting the last years of his life, after reading these two large volumes, I had my fill of the subject matter. Du Bois was a complicated man who forced the world to face the illogical attitude about racism and the need to expand civil rights. A must read for anyone that wants to understand race in the United States.
It took me forever to read this biography--of a race--but I was determined to do just that. Du Bois was a person of great influence and his choices I will leave for you to decide. The reading, however, was stilted and I had to put the book down for months at a time because of it. (I've had a stroke.) In all, I thought it was good that I persevered.
I am impressed with the level of detail that the author went to, in order to paint a complete picture of Du Bois. Du Bois himself lived in a remarkable time in American history (being born a few years after slavery ended and dying months before Dr. Martin Luther King's march on Washington) Lewis captures the evolution of the time and the character of the day with his detailed portrayl of Du Bois' life, and the major events that captured the nations attention during that time.
Not the most exciting book but still worth reading.
Great reading, but keep a dictionary handy.