W. E. B. Du Bois stands as one of the most celebrated and studied African Americans in United States history. Nevertheless, Du Bois's substantial body of writings on World War I has received little scholarly attention. This article explores Du Bois's published and unpublished work, revealing the centrality of World War I to Du Bois's life and historical imagination. Du Bois devoted decades to writing about and grappling with the historical legacy of World War I for African Americans, broadly, and for himself, individually. His inability to find both collective and personal redemptive meaning in the war reflects his struggle to reconcile the tension between history and memory, as well as the still contested place of World War I in African American history.
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