In this Book

A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois
summary

Literary scholars and historians have long considered W. E. B. Du Bois (1868--1963) an extremely influential writer and a powerful cultural critic. The author of more than one hundred books, hundreds of published articles, and founding editor of the NAACP journal The Crisis, Du Bois has been widely studied for his profound insights on the politics of race and class in America. An activist as well as a scholar, Du Bois proclaimed, "I stand in utter shamelessness and say that whatever art I have for writing has been used always for propaganda for gaining the right of black folk to love and enjoy."

In A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois, Nick Bromell assembles essays from both new and established scholars from a variety of disciplines to explore Du Bois's contributions to American political thought. The contributors establish a conceptual context within which to read the author, revealing how richly and variously he engaged with the aesthetic and theological modalities of political thinking and action. This volume further reveals how Du Bois's work challenges and revises contemporary political theory, providing commentary on the author's strengths and limitations as a theorist for the twenty-first century. In doing so, it helps readers gain an understanding of how Du Bois's work and life continue to stimulate lively and constructive debate about the theory and practice of democracy in America.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Series Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction
  2. Nick Bromell
  3. pp. 1-16
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  1. Part I. Du Bois and Political Philosophy
  1. 1. W. E. B. Du Bois: Black Radical Liberal
  2. Charles W. Mills
  3. pp. 19-56
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  1. 2. An Africana Philosophical Reading of Du Bois’s Political Thought
  2. Lewis R. Gordon
  3. pp. 57-82
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  1. Part II. Du Bois, Politics, and Poetry
  1. 3. Alightings of Poetry: The Dialectics of Voice and Silence in W. E. B. Du Bois’s Narrative of Double-Consciousness
  2. Anthony Reed
  3. pp. 85-100
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  1. 4. The Imperial Miracle: Black Reconstruction and the End(s) of Whiteness
  2. James Edward Ford III
  3. pp. 101-120
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  1. Part III. Du Bois in the Space between the Known and the Imagined
  1. 5. The People, Rhetoric, and Affect: On the Political Force of Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk
  2. Melvin L. Rogers
  3. pp. 123-158
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  1. 6. “Honest and Earnest Criticism” as the “Soul of Democracy”: Du Bois’s Style of Democratic Reasoning
  2. Nick Bromell
  3. pp. 159-180
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  1. 7. A Democracy of Differences: Knowledge and the Unknowable in Du Bois’s Theory of Democratic Governance
  2. Robert W. Williams
  3. pp. 181-204
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  1. Part IV. Du Bois and the Challenges of Black Politics
  1. 8. The Cost of Liberty: Sacrifice and Survival in Du Bois’s John Brown
  2. Alexander Livingston
  3. pp. 207-240
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  1. 9. On Democratic Leadership and Social Change: Positioning Du Bois in the Shadow of a Gray To-come
  2. Arash Davari
  3. pp. 241-270
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  1. 10. A Splendid Failure? Black Reconstruction and Du Bois’s Tragic Vision of Politics
  2. Vijay Phulwani
  3. pp. 271-302
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  1. 11. “Love Is God, and Work Is His Prophet”: Decolonial Extension and Gandhian Exploration in Du Bois’s Interwar Years
  2. David Haekwon Kim
  3. pp. 303-344
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 345-346
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 347-350
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 351-366
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