Creative Conflict in African American Thought

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Wilson Moses bases this collection of essays on the thought of five major African-American intellectuals: Frederick Douglass, Alexander Crummell, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus J. Garvey. Highlighting the intellectual struggles and contradictions of these personalities, with regard to individual morality and collective reform, Moses reveals how they contributed to strategies for black progress. He analyzes their thinking within the contexts of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy, Social Darwinism, and progressivism. Wilson J. Moses is Ferree Professor of American History and Senior Fellow of the Arts and Humanities Institute at the Pennsylvania State University. He has been Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the Free University of Berlin and Fulbright Guest Professor at the University of Vienna. His books include Liberian Dreams: Back to Africa Narratives from the 1850s (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1998), and Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History (Cambridge, 1998).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Professor Moses has written an important and engaging book of which specialists will be particularly enamored. Its unusual approach in interrogating the lives and leadership of these important African American leaders alone makes it worthwhile." -Bernard E. Powers Jr., History of Intellectual Culture
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521828260
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2004
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction: Consistency … the Hobgoblin of Little Minds: 1. The meaning of struggle; Part II. Frederick Douglass: The Individualist as Race Man: 2. Where honor is due: Frederick Douglass and representative man; 3. Writing freely? Douglass's racialization, and desexualization; 4. Frederick Douglass, superstar; Part III. Alexander Crummell: the Anglophile as Afrocentrist: 5. Africa, Christianity, and civilization; 6. Crummell and the new south; 7. Crummell, Du Bois, and presentism; Part IV. Booker Taliafero Washington: The Idealist as Materialist: 8. Booker T. Washington and the meaning of progress; 9. Protestant ethic versus conspicuous consumption; Part V. Burghardt Du Bois: The Democrat as Authoritarian: 10. Du Bois on religion and art; 11. Du Bois and democracy: a tragic realism; 12. Du Bois protestant perfectionism and progressive pragmatism; Part VI. Marcus Moziah Garvey: The Realist as Romantic: 13. The birth of tragedy: Garvey's heroic struggles; 14. Becoming history: Garvey and the genius of his age; Part VII. Conclusion: Saving Heroes from their Admirers: 15. Reality, contradiction and the meaning of progress.

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