Un-American: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Century of World Revolution

Temple Univ. Oct. 2015. 258p. notes. index. ISBN 9781439911105. pap. $28.95. BIOG
In this expansively researched and expertly crafted biography of W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963) on the global stage, Mullen (American studies & English, Purdue Univ.) revisits the often contradictory and dialectical actions, thoughts, hopes, and writings of the sociologist and civil rights activist through post-World War II toward the end of the Cold War. Chapters detail Du Bois's extensive travels throughout Russia and China. Mullen has considerable depth and nuance for the work of revisiting his subject as an international figure, utilizing primary sources from Du Bois's writing, including correspondence and engagement with prominent figures such as India's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and others involved in the independence movement in that country. Mullen succeeds in weaving a revisionist narrative that positions Du Bois as a world actor within the revolutionary movements of the 20th century.
VERDICT For readers interested in historical biographies situated in international politics and Cold War history.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month