Cover: In the Shadow of Du Bois: Afro-Modern Political Thought in America, from Harvard University PressCover: In the Shadow of Du Bois in PAPERBACK

In the Shadow of Du Bois

Afro-Modern Political Thought in America

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Product Details


$22.50 • £18.95 • €20.50

ISBN 9780674060241

Publication Date: 04/15/2011

Academic Trade

368 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches


[Gooding-Williams] sets out to give Du Bois’s writings the same sort of judicious close reading that was on display in his earlier book on Nietzsche’s Zarathustra… By attending to Du Bois’s relations to thinkers like Weber, Gooding-Williams helpfully places this American thinker against the background of the education he received in Berlin.—Kwame Anthony Appiah, The New York Review of Books

[A] sustained and in-depth engagement with the legacy of Du Bois’s thought, especially as it pertains to questions of black political activism and leadership… [Gooding-Williams] places Du Bois as a generative figure in American political thought alongside the early modern and Enlightenment stable of social-contract theorists such as Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.—Peniel E. Joseph, Bookforum

In the Shadow of Du Bois is a thoughtful, nuanced work that challenges previous perceptions of Du Bois and modern definitions of African American politics.—K. Anderson, Choice

Gooding-Williams brings to his rich and original study of twentieth (and twenty-first) century African American thought a philosopher’s respect for argument, a historian’s appreciation of context and influence, a writer’s care for fine and textured readings, and a political theorist’s concern with power, identity, and democracy. This is an extraordinary book, one that will elicit gratitude as well as admiration for its thoroughness, intelligence, and measure.—Wendy Brown, University of California, Berkeley

How should African Americans respond to white supremacy and its legacy? Gooding-Williams offers an impressively learned and probing critical interpretation of Du Bois’s highly influential answer to this central question of African American philosophy. This thoroughly original book is not only the most sophisticated philosophical study to date of Du Bois’s early thought, but it is also a provocative and noteworthy contribution to the contemporary debate over the content and contours of black politics in the post-segregation era.—Tommie Shelby, Harvard University

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 Best Book Award on Racial and Ethnic Political Identities, Ideologies, & Theories, Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association
  • Honorable Mention, 2010 David Easton Award, Foundations of Political Theory Section of the American Political Science Association
  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of 2010
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