Ivan R. Dee
Trim: 5⅜ x 8½
978-1-56663-865-4 • Paperback • July 2010 • $15.95 • (£11.99)
978-1-56663-815-9 • eBook • September 2008 • $14.99 • (£11.99)
Thomas Dyja is the author of novels (Play for a Kingdom, which won the Casey Award in 1998 for the best baseball book of the year; Meet John Trow, and The Moon in Our Hands), nonfiction (Only Connect, with Dr. Rudy Crew, about reforming our schools), and children's books, and has edited a number of books of biography. A graduate of Columbia University, he lives in New York City.
Chapter 1: A World of His Own
Chapter 2: The Life Insurance Temperament
Chapter 3: Undercover Against Lynching
Chapter 4: At the Center of the Harlem Renaissance
Chapter 5: Conflict, Control, and the Making of Mr. NAACP
Chapter 6: Fighting on All Fronts
Chapter 7: "I am white and I am black"
In prose that moves effortlessly across the page, Thomas Dyja captures the energy and accomplishments of Walter White, one of the most important and effective African American leaders of the last century.
— Kenneth Robert Janken, author of Walter White: Mr. NAACP
Walter White, the longtime executive secretary of the NAACP, is one of the most complex and yet fascinating characters of the black freedom struggle. While many historians have dismissed White as an opportunistic self-promoter, Thomas Dyja's elegantly written biography provides the reader with an empathetic and judicious portrait of a man who was passionately devoted to the cause of racial advancement but as an individual aspired to move beyond the limitations of race.
— Manfred Berg, Curt Engelhorn Professor of American History, Heidelberg University
Thomas Dyja's gripping biography of Walter White has restored an essential American life. With impeccable research, acute sensitivity and literary grace, Dyja has restored one of the most important links in the long chain of events and causes that brought Americans, at long last, into the the bright sunshine of civil and human rights.
— Ted Widmer, author of Ark of the Liberties
Dyja's crisply-written biography is a fascinating, concise history of arguably the most effective civil rights leader of his time. Dyjas's timely and nimble effort identifies the gap between one person's proximity to power and a community's failure to ever actualize it—a dilemma that continues to plague civil rights leaders and by extension black America today. As the inaugural text for this new series, Walter White is an auspicious beginning for The Library of African American Biography, which will crucially introduce and familiarize future generations of readers to the most important people of the African American experience.
— Devin Fergus, author of Liberalism, Black Power, and the Making of American Politics, 1965–1980
Compact, insightful . . . [an] able tribute to a boundary-smashing activist.
Dyja brings new light to an eclipsed but hugely important figure in the civil rights struggle.
A useful contribution to the literature on civil rights, racial identity, and modern U.S. history.
— Choice Reviews
Thomas Dyja has written a succinct, evenhanded, and timely analysis of the life and legacy of the blond, blue-eyed public face of the NAACP between 1931 and 1955. . . . Well researched and well written, Dyja's book makes a major contribution to civil rights scholarship, is accessible to a general audience, and should be mandatory reading for anyone born after 1954.
— Journal of Southern History
Clearly organized and crisply written. . . . Dyja's study is designed to give Walter White's reputation a renewed life, so that a troubled man and his troubled career can get the attention and the respect they deserve.
— The Sewanee Review
Offers a story about how certain characteristics, actions, and philosophies define a person's 'blackness' or 'whiteness.'
— The Journal of African American History