SOCIAL SCIENCES

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
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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.

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