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David Levering Lewis

W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868–1919

Henry Holt and Co.

1994 Nonfiction

W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868–1919
The life of scholar, philosopher, activist and historian, W.E.B. Du Bois, is examined in David Levering Lewis' W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963.

Fifteen years in the making, this second volume of Lewis' profoundly detailed analysis of Du Bois' life follows the controversial American icon from the race riots of 1919's "Red Summer" through his controversial departure from the NAACP and his embrace of socialism, to his tumultuous self-imposed exile and death in Ghana at the age of 95. The Los Angeles Times Book Review calls it "a work of keen scholarship that will appeal to the general reader responsive to graceful, lucid prose by an author with an eye for ironic situations and complex emotions."

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Lewis attended Fisk University where he received his B.A. in history and philosophy. He holds an M.A. in U.S. History from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Lewis currently holds the Martin Luther King Jr. Chair in history at Rutgers University.

Lewis is the author of several acclaimed books including King, A Biography (Praeger, 1970), When Harlem Was in Vogue (Alfred Knopf, Inc., 1971), The Race to Fashoda: European Colonialism and African Resistance in the Scramble for Africa (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988) and W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 (Henry Holt and Co, 1993), which won the Pulitzer, Parkman and Bancroft prizes, in addition to the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for non-fiction in 1994.

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Blog Posts about David Levering Lewis

David Levering Lewis: "History without sexuality is incomplete."

  David Levering Lewis, 1994 and 2001 Anisfield-Wolf award winner and noted historian of W.E.B. DuBois, was quoted in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education piece on black sexuality and its prevalence (or lack thereof) in scholarly work.  "Some of this scholarship is a bit queasy and sounds like a rationalization for an exercise in curiosity. But there is room in the big tent of the academy for these kinds of explorations. History without sexuality is incomplete."  Read the entire piece here and learn more about Lewis in the... Read More →

Anisfield-Wolf Guide To Black History Month

Black History Month is but one period out of the year where we focus on the accomplishments and contributions of those of the African Diaspora. We believe that the world is a richer place when we celebrate our rich cultural diversity, as evidenced by our dedication to selecting books that contribute to the dialogue. It's hard for us to select our favorite books out of the Anisfield-Wolf library, so instead we will choose books that give great insight into the triumphs and challenges of African Americans. Share this list with your colleagues... Read More →
  • David Levering Lewis

    David Levering Lewis

    Born: 1936

    Other Works

    • King: A Critical Biography (1970)
    • Prisoners of Honor: The Dreyfus Affair (1974)
    • The Race for Fashoda: European Colonialism and African Resistance in the Scramble for Africa (1987)
    • W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919–1963 (2000)
    • God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe (2008)

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