The Great Enunciator

The first of a two-volume biography maps the divided soul of W.E.B. Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born an African American in 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and died an American African 95 years later in Accra, Ghana. His lifetime included two Johnson Administrations (Andrew's and Lyndon's) and stretched from the betrayal of Reconstruction to the unfinished dream of civil rights. He was "the Old Man" to generations of black leaders and Moses to their followers. But Old Testament robes were a poor fit, as David Levering Lewis' painstaking scholarship makes clear in W.E.B. Du Bois, the first of a two-part biography (Henry Holt; 735 pages; $35).

Du Bois was cut out...

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