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

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

Current price: $22.95
Publication Date: October 15th, 2016
Pluto Press
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Born just five years after the abolition of slavery, W. E. B. Du Bois died the night before Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. In the many decades between, Du Bois contributed as much to the political and social advancement of African Americans as any other figure.
This book offers an accessible brief introduction to the life and times of Du Bois. It takes in his many achievements, such as being the first black man to earn a PhD from Harvard and co-founding the NAACP, and sets them alongside the seismic political changes of the twentieth century—many of which Du Bois weighed in on, including anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggles across Asia and Africa. Bill V. Mullen reveals a Du Bois who was focused not just on the immediate question of African American rights, but also took up the question of socialism, the rise of communism, and the complicated interrelationship of capitalism, poverty, and racism.
The picture that emerges here is of a powerfully original thinker, fiercely engaged with the political, economic, and social questions of his day never letting up in his struggle to change the world for the better.

About the Author

Bill V. Mullen is professor of English and American studies at Purdue University and the author of Popular Fronts: Chicago and African American Cultural Politics and Afro-Orientalism.

Praise for W. E. B. Du Bois: Revolutionary Across the Color Line (Revolutionary Lives)

"W. E. B. Du Bois: Revolutionary Across the Color Line serves as a timely introduction to this impressive and somewhat imposing figure, while also reframing Du Bois’s life and work beyond the boundaries of the American context."
— Inside Higher Ed

“In this new biography, Mullen interprets the seismic political developments of the Twentieth Century through the revolutionary life of W.E.B. Du Bois—focusing not just on his Civil Rights work, but also examining Du Bois’s attitudes towards socialism, the USSR, China’s Communist Revolution, and the relationship between capitalism, poverty and racism.”
— Critical Theory

"With Du Bois’s Marxist leanings in mind, Mullen’s strategy is to reinterpret much of what is already known. As biography, the book is very well written, informative, and insightful."
— Choice

"While some scholars have tried to domesticate DuBois and confine his intellectual and political life within the boundaries of capitalist hegemony, DuBois was in fact a life-long revolutionary committed to socialism, Pan-Africanism and Black Liberation, a man who late in life – partly as a direct challenge to McCarthyism and the Cold War – joined the Communist Party, USA. Mullen’s W.E.B. DuBois: Revolutionary Across The Color Line corrects the record, highlighting a side of DuBois many would like us to forget. It is a must read for anyone interested in the life and work of this pioneering Black revolutionary."
— People's World

"Examines the life of W. E. B. Du Bois and his relationship to key questions of the revolutionary left in the twentieth century, placing Du Bois within a framework of figures of the global left and demonstrating the centrality of radical internationalism to his life and thought."
— Journal of Economic Literature

"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, University of Maryland

“This is Marxist biography at its finest. It 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, author of the American Night