Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-0740-0 • Hardback • July 2015 • $44.00 • (£34.00)
978-1-4422-0741-7 • Paperback • August 2017 • $30.00 • (£22.99)
978-1-4422-0742-4 • eBook • July 2015 • $28.50 • (£21.99)
Shawn Leigh Alexander is associate professor and graduate director of African and African American Studies and director of the Langston Hughes Center at the University of Kansas, where he specializes in African American social and intellectual history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Chapter 1: The Early Years
Chapter 2: The Study of the Negro
Chapter 3: Du Bois, Booker T. Washington and Others: A Challenge of Leadership
Chapter 4: Building Movements: The NAACP, Pan-Africanism, Garvey, and a Renaissance
Chapter 5: Back to the Wings of Atlanta and the NAACP Redux
Chapter 6: Marching towards Peace
A Note on Sources
About the Authors
The Library of African-American Biography is to be commended for giving readers an accessible biography of one of the most prolific writers of the 19th and 20th centuries and a constant champion of civil rights. W. E. B. Du Bois deserves this sympathetic telling of his life story, a 95-year life that had many phases, bridging Reconstruction and the March on Washington. Alexander draws on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, including Du Bois’s own voluminous writings, to chronicle his intellectual journey, downplay the oft-reported tensions with Booker T. Washington, give significant attention to Du Bois’s contribution to the founding and development of the NAACP, and describe Du Bois’s indefatigable role as editor of the NAACP magazine, The Crisis, a 20th-century voice in the struggle to improve race relations in the US. The author also recounts Du Bois’s often-strident anti-colonial positions and the challenges he faced in the midst of the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s. . . .Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.
— Choice Reviews
Alexander's book, at 170 pages, clearly and concisely covers Dub Bois's 95 years and his roles as civil rights leader, journalist, peace activist, historian, sociologist and artist.
— Kansas City: The Call
W. E. B. Du Bois: An American Intellectual and Activist by Shawn Leigh Alexander is an impressively informative biography presented in a clear and concise manner, exploring Du Bois' racial strategy, civil rights activity, journalistic career, and his role as an international spokesman, as well as his work as an historian, a sociologist, an artist, a propagandist, and a peace activist. Of special note in this exceptionally well written, organized and presented study is the inclusion of Du Bois' chief critics including Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Walter White, the Young Turks of the NAACP -- not to mention the federal government's characterization of his ever-radicalizing beliefs, particularly after World War II. A simply outstanding body of deftly crafted scholarship, W. E. B. Du Bois: An American Intellectual and Activist is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Black American History & Biography collections in general, and W. E. B. Du Bois supplemental studies lists in particular.
— Midwest Book Review
Shawn Leigh Alexander’s thoughtful and comprehensive survey of one of the most important literary figures and political writers of the twentieth century will be useful at every level. General readers will find it well written and up-to-date, and advanced professionals will find it a convenient and sophisticated review text.
— Wilson J. Moses, professor of history, The Pennsylvania State University
Here is an admirable and accessible synthesis of Du Bois's life and work. This sophisticated and well-crafted book will serve undergraduate classes and graduate seminars, ordinary readers interested in learning of the scope of Du Bois's work, as well as sophisticated researchers plumbing the seemingly endless complexities of Du Boisian thought and practice.
— Ernest Allen Jr., Emeritus Professor of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Shawn Leigh Alexander's well-written and concise yet wide-reaching biography of W. E. B. Du Bois will help all students of African American history better understand the nuances of one of the most important black leaders of the twentieth century.
— Pero Gaglo Dagbovie, author of What is African American History?