W.E.B. Du Bois and American Political Thought: Fabianism and the Color Line
In this pathbreaking book, Adolph Reed, Jr. covers for the first time the sweep and totality of W.E.B. Du Bois's political thought. Departing from ... Show synopsis In this pathbreaking book, Adolph Reed, Jr. covers for the first time the sweep and totality of W.E.B. Du Bois's political thought. Departing from existing scholarship, Reed locates the sources of Du Bois's thought in the cauldron of reform-minded intellectual life at the turn of the century, arguing that a commitment of liberal collectivism, an essentially Fabian socialism, remained pivotal in Du Bois's thought even as he embraced a range of political programs over time, including radical Marxism. Exploring the segregation-era political discourse which informed Du Bois's texts and identifying the imperatives which triggered Du Bois's strategic political thinking, Reed reveals that Du Bois's core beliefs concerning such issues as the relationship between knowledge and progress, social stratification among blacks, and proper social organization, endured with little change from their early formulation in The Philadelphia Negro (1899). While tracking Du Bois's response to shifting political and economic contexts over nearly six decades, Reed also refines our understanding of twentieth-century progressive thought, discovering fresh continuities and tensions between fin de siecle and later socialist and Marxist discourses.