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Utopias of One$
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Joshua Kotin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196541

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196541.001.0001

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W.E.B. Du Bois’s Hermeticism

W.E.B. Du Bois’s Hermeticism

Chapter:
(p.33) Chapter Two W.E.B. Du Bois’s Hermeticism
Source:
Utopias of One
Author(s):

Joshua Kotin

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691196541.003.0003

This chapter concerns W. E. B. Du Bois's utopianism during the last fifteen years of his life, after his final break with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The chapter tracks his increasing commitment to Soviet communism and examines the difficulty and efficacy of his Autobiography (1962, 1968). It asks how Du Bois's utopianism led, finally, to a utopia of one. In the book, Du Bois does more than document the development of his thinking about race and politics, and prefigure the “philosophy of Black Power”—he attempts to radically transform his life. Autobiography is fundamentally different from Du Bois's earlier autobiographies. Indeed, the book addresses the future—an American public (black and white) finally ready to hear the truth about liberalism and communism.

Keywords:   W. E. B. Du Bois, hermeticism, Autobiography, Soviet communism, utopianism, liberalism

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