George Hodgman
November 10, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

W.E.B. Du Bois

Current Status
In Season
David Levering Lewis

We gave it an A

The second volume of David Levering Lewis’ biography W.E.B. Du Bois, nominated for this year’s National Book Award in the biography category, covers the life of the man some call the godfather of the civil rights movement from 1919 to his death in Ghana in 1963. The book captures the fiery man of letters as editor, activist, and international force in race relations and confirms Lewis’ position as one of our great writer-historians. Highlights include Du Bois’ heartbreaking battle with the NAACP, which he helped found; a rich portrait of his friendship with Paul Robeson; and material on Du Bois’ indictment as a foreign agent. The biography leaves no doubt about the continuing influence of Du Bois, whose rhythms can still be heard in the works of black writers today. A

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