Who am I?
Why did Marybeth love this book?
I have been reading about W.E.B. Du Bois since graduate school. He’s a fascinating character in American history who is always surprising me.
In this book, Chad Williams finds an unpublished 800-page manuscript in the archives at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and gives the reader a peak into the complexities of Du Bois’s brain. Having read nearly everything Du Bois wrote as I use his work in my own historical writings, I had never seen this side of Du Bois.
For the first time, followers of Du Bois’s work can see how World War I shaped him, his political evolution, and his later work. Williams’ book tackles Du Bois’s notion of double consciousness (being Black and American) within the context of fighting for one’s country and demonstrates how Du Bois originally thought he could reconcile being Black and American during the war but eventually became disillusioned.
As a historian,…