W.E.B. Du Bois: Black Reconstruction (Loa #350): An Essay Toward a History of the Part Whichblack Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstructdemocracy i
An Essay Toward a History of the Part whichBlack Folk Played in the Attempt to ReconstructDemocracy in America, 1860–1880
A collector's edition of the landmark study that changed our understanding of the Civil War's aftermath and the legacy of racism in America
Upon publication in 1935, W.E.B. Du Bois's Black Reconstruction offered a revelatory new assessment of Reconstruction--and of American democracy itself. One of the towering African American thinkers and activists of the twentieth century, Du Bois brought all his intellectual powers to bear on America's post-Civil War era of political reorganization, a time when African American progress was met with a white supremacist backlash and ultimately yielded to the consolidation of the unjust social order underpinning Jim Crow. Black Reconstruction is a pioneering, exemplary work of revisionist scholarship that, in the wake of censorship toward Du Bois's characterization of Reconstruction by the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was written to debunk influential historians whose racist ideas and emphases had disfigured the historical record. "The chief witness in Reconstruction, the emancipated slave himself," writes Du Bois, "has been almost barred from court. His written Reconstruction record has been largely destroyed and nearly always neglected." In setting the record straight Du Bois produced what Eric Foner has called an "indispensable book," a magisterial work of detached scholarship that is also imbued with passionate outrage. Here presented in a handsome hardcover edition, with an illuminating editor's introduction and an authoritative text, Black Reconstruction is joined, for the first time in a single volume with important writings that trace his thinking throughout his career about Reconstruction and its centrality in understanding American democracy.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. After graduation from Fisk University, he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard, studied in Berlin, and became pioneering historian and sociologist and the founding editor of
The Crisis, the official magazine of the NAACP. His major works include
The Souls of Black Folk,
Black Reconstruction, and
The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade. He died in Ghana in 1963 at the age of ninety-five.
Eric Foner is the author of many award-winning books on the Civil War and Reconstruction, including
The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He is DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard. He is the author of numerous books, including
Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow, and has produced, written, and hosted an array of documentary films for public television, including
Finding Your Roots and
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.