THE W. E. B. DU BOIS LECTURES
Cover: Blacks In and Out of the Left, from Harvard University PressCover: Blacks In and Out of the Left in HARDCOVER

Blacks In and Out of the Left

[An] important new book… Dawson’s frontal challenge to liberal and social democratic pontificates and his passionate defense of the black revolutionary tradition is a great gift to all students, especially black youth who have been robbed of their own history. Dawson brings to life the complexity of building a black and multi-racial left and highlights the profound achievements of black leaders and organizations that were purged from popular history. He emphasizes several important leaders who are too-little known today: Hubert Harrison, Cyril Briggs, Harry Haywood, Claudia Jones, W.E.B. Du Bois, A. Philip Randolph, Paul Robeson, and Fannie Lou Hamer. By reminding us that black revolutionary action has a long and influential tradition that extends well beyond the ’60s, Dawson challenges the white intellectuals who saw the unification of minority groups as a threat to their own interests… Dawson’s historical analysis provides a model for reinvigorating the revolutionary organizations of today.—Eric Mann, Boston Review

Dawson is at his finest in exposing how many historians of the U.S. left have erased the black presence within American radicalism. Parallel to this ‘whitewashing,’ and perhaps a more nefarious form of political amnesia, has been the effort by some white scholars to blame the current fragmentation of the organized left on the profusion of racial, gender-based, and sexual ‘identity politics.’ …Blacks In and Out of the Left is an act of socially committed scholarship that deserves the widest possible reading public among students of African-American social movements, black political thought, public policy, labor and working-class history, and U.S. radicalism.—Clarence Lang, Dissent

Dawson offers a fresh interpretation of the largely unknown and often misrepresented history of black radicalism in an effort to chart a progressive path forward that will effectively challenge racial injustice, economic inequality, and imperialism. This provocative and enlightening book creatively fuses analytical history with political theory to diagnose what has ailed the American Left for decades. But it is not a pessimistic book. Rather, in the spirit of hope and possibility, it calls for utopian yet pragmatic political thinking that regards independent black political organizing not as a balkanizing force or distraction from the ‘universal’ fight for a democratic society, but as an indispensable element of any viable Left-wing politics.—Tommie Shelby, author of We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundations of Black Solidarity

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HUP ReadUP: Summer Reads

We asked our colleagues, “What is one word you would use to describe an ideal summer read?” Their answers range across all the summer feels, from those easygoing lazy hazy days to that voltage of energy that fires up a reawakening. What’s more, their responses include book recommendations sure to help you breeze through the sunny season—from our own library as well as those of fellow university presses.