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Literary scholars and historians have long considered W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) an extremely influential writer and a powerful cultural critic. The author of more than one hundred books, hundreds of published articles, and founding editor of the NAACP journal The Crisis, Du Bois has been widely studied for his profound insights on the politics of race and class in America. An activist as well as a scholar, Du Bois proclaimed, "I stand in utter shamelessness and say that whatever art I have for writing has been used always for propaganda for gaining the right of black folk to love and enjoy." In A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois, Nick Bromell assembles essays from both new and established scholars from a variety of disciplines to explore Du Bois's contributions to American political thought. The contributors establish a conceptual context within which to read the author, revealing how richly and variously he engaged with the aesthetic and theological modalities of political thinking and action. This volume further reveals how Du Bois's work challenges and revises contemporary political theory, providing commentary on the author's strengths and limitations as a theorist for the twenty-first century. In doing so, it helps readers gain an understanding of how Du Bois's work and life continue to stimulate lively and constructive debate about the theory and practice of democracy in America.

Nick Bromell is professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of several books, including The Time Is Always Now: Black Thought and the Transformation of US Democracy.



Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky




Lexington, KY


literary companion; essay anthology; classic american literature; literary analysis; readers guide; companion book; black studies; africana studies; political opinions; social criticism


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A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois
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