W.E.B. Du BoisThe Lost and the Found
W.E.B. Du Bois
The Lost and the Found

W.E.B. Du Bois spent many decades fighting to ensure that African Americans could claim their place as full citizens and thereby fulfill the deeply compromised ideals of American democracy. Yet he died in Africa, having apparently given up on the United States.

In this tour-de-force, Elvira Basevich examines this paradox by tracing the development of his life and thought and the relevance of his legacy to our troubled age. She adroitly analyzes the main concepts that inform Du Bois’s critique of American democracy, such as the color line and double consciousness, before examining how these concepts might inform our understanding of contemporary struggles, from Black Lives Matter to the campaign for reparations for slavery. She stresses the continuity in Du Bois’s thought, from his early writings to his later embrace of self-segregation and Pan-Africanism, while not shying away from assessing the challenging implications of his later work.

This wonderful book vindicates the power of Du Bois’s thought to help transform a stubbornly unjust world. It is essential reading for racial justice activists as well as students of African American philosophy and political thought.

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  • November 2020
  • 288 pages
  • 140 x 210 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509535736
  • Paperback $24.95
  • 9781509535743
  • Open eBook $24.95
  • 9781509535750
Table of Contents
Introduction: Du Bois Among Us: A Contemporary, A Voice from the Past
Part I – Inclusion
1 Du Bois and the Black Lives Matter Movement: Thinking with Du Bois about Anti-Racist Struggle Today
2 Student Days, 1885-95: Between Nashville, Cambridge, and Berlin
3 The Emergence of a Black Public Intellectual: Du Bois’s Philosophy of Social Science and Race (1895-1910)
Part II – Self-Assertion
4 Courting Controversy: Du Bois on Political Rule and Educated ‘Elites’
5 A Broken Promise: On Hegel, Second Slavery and the Ideal of Civic Enfranchisement (1910-1934)
6 Du Bois on Sex, Gender, and Public Childcare
Part III – Despair
7 Self-Segregation and Self-Respect (1934-1951): Liberalism Undone?
Conclusion: The Passage into Exile: The Return Home Away from Home (1951-1963)
About the Author
Elvira Basevich is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
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"Unique among books on Du Bois, Basevich originally and persuasively presents a liberal ideal of civic enfranchisement as the heart of Du Bois' thought."
Chike Jeffers, Dalhousie University

"A valuable and compelling addition to the literature on Du Bois. Both a useful introduction to those unfamiliar with his thought and an innovative interpretation that will hold the interest of experts, Basevich has achieved a remarkable feat—and produced an apt tribute to her subject."
Benjamin McKean, Ohio State University

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