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World War I in the Historical Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois

  • Chad Williams
Abstract

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 This article explores Du Bois's published and unpublished work, revealing the centrality of World War I to Du Bois's life and historical imagination.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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1 A number of popular “histories” of African Americans in the war were published immediately after the armistice. For instance, see Miller, Kelly, Kelly Miller's Authentic History of the Negro in the World War (Washington, DC, 1919); Scott, Emmett J., Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War (Chicago, 1919); and Sweeny, W. Allison, History of the American Negro in the Great World War: His Splendid Record in the Battle Zones of Europe (Chicago, 1919). Until the twenty-first century, Arthur Barbeau and Florette Henri's The Unknown Soldiers, originally published in 1974, stood as the lone scholarly book on African Americans in World War I. Barbeau, Arthur E. and Henri, Florette, The Unknown Soldiers: African-American Troops in World War I (Philadelphia, 1974; New York, 1996). Key recent scholarship includes Ellis, Mark, Race, War, and Surveillance: African Americans and the United States Government during World War I (Bloomington, IN, 2001); Kornweibel, Theodore Jr., “Investigate Everything”: Federal Efforts to Compel Black Loyalty during World War I (Bloomington, IN, 2002); Roberts, Frank E., The American Foreign Legion: Black Soldiers of the 93d in World War I (Annapolis, MD, 2004); Slotkin, Richard, Lost Battalions: The Great War and the Crisis of American Nationality (New York, 2005); Whalan, Mark, The Great War and the Culture of the New Negro (Gainesville, FL, 2008); Lentz-Smith, Adriane, Freedom Struggles: African Americans and World War I (Cambridge, MA, 2009); Nelson, Peter, A More Unbending Battle: The Harlem Hellfighters’ Struggle for Freedom in WWI and Equality at Home (New York, 2009); Williams, Chad L., Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era (Chapel Hill, NC, 2010); Ferrell, Robert H., Unjustly Dishonored: An African American Division in World War I (Columbia, MO, 2011); Mjagkij, Nina, Loyalty in Time of Trial: The African American Experience during World War I (Lanham, MD, 2011); Sammons, Jeffrey T. and Morrow, John H. Jr., Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War: The Undaunted 369th Infantry Regiment and the African American Quest for Equality (Lawrence, KS, 2014); Wilson, Adam P., African American Officers of World War I: A Vanguard of Equality in War and Beyond (Jefferson, NC, 2015); Fisher, W. Douglas and Buckley, Joann H., African American Doctors of World War I: The Lives of 104 Volunteers (Jefferson, NC, 2016); and Royal A. Christian, Porter, Steward, Citizen: An African American's Memoir of World War I, ed. McDaniels, Pellom III (New York, 2017). In addition to her book Doughboys, the Great War, and the Remaking of America (Baltimore, 2006), which devotes significant attention to African American soldiers, historian Jennifer D. Keene has produced several articles and essays on the black experience in the war. For instance, see French and American Racial Stereotypes during the First World War,” in National Stereotypes in Perspective: Frenchmen in America, Americans in France, ed. Chew, William (Amsterdam, 2001), 261–81; Protest and Disability: A New Look at African American Soldiers during the First World War,” in Warfare and Belligerence: Perspectives in First World War Studies, ed. Purseigle, Pierre (Leiden, Netherlands, 2005), 213–41; The Memory of the Great War in the African American Community,” in Unknown Soldiers: The American Expeditionary Forces in Memory and Remembrance, ed. Snell, Mark (Kent, OH, 2008), 6079; Images of Racial Pride: African American Propaganda Posters in the First World War,” in Picture This! Reading World War I Posters, ed. James, Pearl (Lincoln, NE, 2009), 207–40; and The Long Journey Home: African American World War I Veterans and Veterans’ Policies,” in Veterans’ Policies, Veterans’ Politics: New Perspectives on Veterans in the Modern United States, ed. Ortiz, Stephen R. (Gainesville, FL, 2012), 146–70.

2 Notable exceptions include Keene, Jennifer D., “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Wounded World,” Peace and Change 26, no. 2 (Apr. 2001): 135–52; Lewis, David Levering, W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868–1919 (New York, 1993), 561–2, 572 (hereafter W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1); Lewis, David Levering, W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight of Equality and the American Century, 1919–1963 (New York, 2000) (hereafter W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 2); and Smith, Shane A., “The Crisis in the Great War: W. E. B. Du Bois and His Perception of African-American Participation in World War I,” The Historian 70, no. 2 (Summer 2008): 239–62.

3 For discussion of the “Close Ranks” controversy, see Ellis, Mark, “‘Closing Ranks’ and ‘Seeking Honors’: W. E. B. Du Bois in World War I,” Journal of American History 79, no. 1 (June 1992): 96124; Ellis, Mark, “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Formation of Black Opinion in World War I: A Commentary on ‘The Damnable Dilemma,’Journal of American History 81, no. 4 (Mar. 1995): 1584–90; Jordan, William, “‘The Damnable Dilemma’: African-American Accommodation and Protest during World War I,” Journal of American History 81, no. 4 (Mar. 1995): 1562–83; Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, 552–60; Wolters, Raymond, Du Bois and His Rivals (Columbia, MO, 2002).

4 Blight, David W., “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for American Historical Memory,” in History & Memory in African-American Culture, eds. Fabre, Geneviève and O'Meally, Robert (Oxford, 1994), 4571, here 45–9; Du Bois, W. E. B., The Gift of Black Folk: The Negroes in the Making of America (Boston, 1924; New York, 2009), 57.

5 See Gregg, Robert, “Giant Steps: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Historical Enterprise,” in W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and the City: The Philadelphia Negro and Its Legacy, eds. Katz, Michael B. and Sugrue, Thomas J. (Philadelphia, 1998), 7799; Rampersad, Arnold, The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois (Cambridge, MA, 1976), 32–5, 110, 228.

6 See Rampersad, The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois; Smith, Shawn Michelle, Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture (Durham, NC, 2004); and Kirschke, Amy Helene, Art in Crisis: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for African American Identity and Memory (Bloomington, IN, 2007).

7 The English philosopher R. G. Collingwood offers a useful theoretical framework for understanding historical imagination in his classic book The Idea of History (Oxford, 1946). I also draw from Thomas Holt's examination of the role of historical imagination in Du Bois's 1935 landmark book Black Reconstruction. Holt argues that Du Bois's radical historical revisionism was informed by an understanding of postwar black life first developed in his early sociological and literary writings that allowed him read against the racist secondary source scholarship of his day in lieu of archival research. Holt, Thomas C., “‘A Story of Ordinary Human Beings’: The Sources of Du Bois's Historical Imagination in Black Reconstruction,” South Atlantic Quarterly 112, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 419–35.

8 Du Bois, W. E. B., The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History (New York, 1946; New York, 1965), 80.

9 Du Bois, W. E. B., The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century (New York, 1968), 148.

10 On the importance of Du Bois's time in Germany and its influence on his intellectual thought, see Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, ch. 6; Barkin, Kenneth D., “‘Berlin Days,’ 1892–1894: W. E. B. Du Bois and German Political Economyboundary 2 27, no. 3 (Fall 2000): 79101; Barkin, Kenneth, “W. E. B. Du Bois’ Love Affair with Imperial Germany,” German Studies Review 28, no. 2 (May 2005): 285302; Gooding-Williams, Robert, In the Shadow of Du Bois: Afro-Modern Political Thought in America (Cambridge, MA, 2009); Shaw, Stephanie J., W. E. B. Du Bois and The Souls of Black Folk (Chapel Hill, NC, 2013); and Appiah, Kwame Anthony, Lines of Descent: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Emergence of Identity (Cambridge, MA, 2014).

11 Schafer, Axel R., “W. E. B. Du Bois, German Social Thought, and the Racial Divide in American Progressivism, 1892–1909,” Journal of American History 88, no. 3 (Dec. 2001): 925–49.

12 Du Bois, W. E. B., The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638–1870, Harvard Historical Studies, No. 1 (New York, 1896).

13 Du Bois, W. E. B., The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (Philadelphia, 1899); Morris recognizes the centrality of Du Bois's historical analysis in The Philadelphia Negro, while still asserting its place “as America's first major empirical sociological study.” Morris, Aldon D., The Scholar Denied: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology (Berkeley, CA, 2015), 45–7; also see Katz and Sugrue, W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and the City; Wortham, Robert A., ed., W. E. B. Du Bois and the Sociological Imagination: A Reader, 1897–1914 (Waco, TX, 2009).

14 Rudwick, Elliott M., “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Atlanta University Studies on the Negro,” Journal of Negro Education 26, no. 4 (Autumn 1957): 466–76; Wright, Earl II, “W. E .B. Du Bois and the Atlanta University Studies on the Negro, Revisited,” Journal of African American Studies 9, no. 4 (Mar. 2006): 317.

15 Du Bois, W. E. B., “Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept,” in W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings, ed. Huggins, Nathan (New York, 1986), 602–3; Porter, Eric, The Problem of the Future World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Race Concept at Midcentury (Durham, NC, 2010), 26.

16 For example, see Smith, John David, “W. E. B. Du Bois and Ulrich Bonnell Phillips: Symbolic Antagonists of the Progressive Era,” in Slavery, Race, and American History: Historical Conflict, Trends, and Method, 1866–1953 (London, 1999), 2332.

17 Blight, “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Struggle for American Historical Memory.” Also see Byerman, Keith E., Seizing the Word: History, Art, and Self in the Work of W. E. B. Du Bois (Athens, GA, 1994).

18 Wesley, Charles H., “W. E. B. Du Bois—The Historian,” Journal of Negro History 50, no. 3 (July 1965): 147–62, here 161.

19 Katznelson, Ira, “Du Bois's Century,” Social Science History 23, no. 4 (Winter 1999): 459–74; Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, 249–51; Pan-African Association. To the nations of the world, ca. 1900, W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312), Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries, http://credo.library.umass.edu/view/collection/mums312 (hereafter Du Bois Papers, U-Mass).

20 Du Bois, W. E. B., John Brown (Philadelphia, 1909), 230. Also see Balfour, Lawrie, Democracy's Reconstruction: Thinking Politically with W. E. B. Du Bois (Oxford, 2011), ch. 3.

21 Du Bois taught at Wilberforce University from 1894 to 1896 and at Atlanta University, first from 1897 to 1910, and returning again from 1934 to 1944.

22 World War and the Color Line,” The Crisis 9, no. 1 (Nov. 1914): 152, here 28–30.

23 Du Bois, W. E. B., “The African Roots of War,” Atlantic Monthly (May 1915): 707–14; Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, 503–4.

24 Lusitania,” The Crisis 10, no. 2 (June 1915): 53104, here 81.

25 Resolutions of the Washington Conference,” The Crisis 14, no. 1 (June 1917): 53104, here 59.

26 For historical perspective on African American views on war and military service, see Jimoh, A Yęmisi and Hamlin, Françoise, eds., These Truly Are the Brave: An Anthology of African American Writings on War and Citizenship (Gainesville, FL, 2015).

27 Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, 544; Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 2, 2–4.

28 On surveillance of The Crisis, see Ellis, Race, War and Surveillance and Kornweibel, Jr., “Investigate Everything.”

29 Du Bois, W. E. B., “Awake America,” The Crisis 14, no. 5 (Sept. 1917): 209–60, here 216.

30 Du Bois, W. E. B., “The Negro and the War Department,” The Crisis 16, no. 1 (May 1918): 152, here 7–8.

31 Du Bois, W. E. B., “Thirteen,” The Crisis 15, no. 5 (Jan. 1918): 105–56, here 114. For details and analysis of the Houston rebellion, see Haynes, Robert V., A Night of Violence: The Houston Riot of 1917 (Baton Rouge, LA, 1976); Lentz-Smith, Freedom Struggles; Steptoe, Tyina L., Houston Bound: Culture and Color in a Jim Crow City (Berkeley, CA, 2015), 31–5; and Williams, Torchbearers of Democracy.

32 Mark Ellis and David Levering Lewis argue, convincingly, that Du Bois wrote “Close Ranks” to alleviate concern within the Military Intelligence Division about the tone of The Crisis and induce a favorable decision regarding his application for a captaincy commission. See Ellis, “‘Closing Ranks’ and ‘Seeking Honors’” and Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, 552–560. William Jordan, in contrast, argues that “Close Ranks” and the commission were unrelated, with the editorial being consistent with Du Bois's wartime accommodationism; see Jordan, “‘The Damnable Dilemma.’”

33 Du Bois, W. E. B., “Close Ranks,” The Crisis 16, no. 3 (July 1918): 105–56, here 111.

34 “DuBois, One-Time Radical Leader, Deserts and Betrays Cause of His Race,” Richmond Planet, Aug. 3, 1918, 1; Harrison, Hubert, “The Descent of Dr. Du Bois,” in A Hubert Harrison Reader, ed. Perry, Jeffrey B. (Middletown, CT, 2001), 170–3; Joseph O. Glenn to The Crisis, July 25, 1918, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

35 Ellis, “‘Closing Ranks’ and ‘Seeking Honors,’” 113–8; Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. I, 559–60; Du Bois, The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois, 274; “Dusk of Dawn” in W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings, 740–1.

36 Du Bois, W. E. B., “An Essay Toward a History of the Black Man in the Great War,” The Crisis 18, no. 2 (June 1919): 53120, here 63–87.

37 See Barbeau and Henri, The Unknown Soldiers; Lentz-Smith, Freedom Struggles; and Williams, Torchbearers of Democracy.

38 Novick, Peter, That Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Profession (Cambridge, MA, 1988); Adler, Selig, “The War-Guilt Question and American Disillusionment, 1918–1928,” Journal of Modern History 23, no. 1 (Mar. 1951), 128, here 1–2. For an example of pro-Allied historical literature, see Hart, Albert Bushnell and Lovejoy, Arthur O., eds., Handbook of the War for Readers, Speakers and Teachers (New York, 1918).

39 Minutes of Board Meeting, Oct. 14, 1918, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

40 Du Bois's negotiations with both men collapsed as Woodson demanded full editorial control and Scott moved forward with plans to publish a book of his own. See Black Man and the Wounded World, Proposed Editorial Board, Scott, Emmett J., 1918–1919, folder 30, box 14, W. E. B. Du Bois Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Fisk University (hereafter Du Bois Collection, Fisk); Black Man and the Wounded World, Proposed Editorial Board, Wood, C. Hollingsworth—Woodson, Carter G., 1918, N.D., folder 32, box 14, Du Bois Collection, Fisk.

41 Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, 561–78.

42 Louis Pontlock to W. E. B. Du Bois, Apr. 26, 1919, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

43 W. E. B. Du Bois to NAACP Board, Jan. 12, 1919, folder 2, Box I: C385, NAACP Papers, Part I, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

44 See Thomas, Gregory M., Treating the Trauma of the Great War: Soldiers, Civilians, and Psychiatry in France, 1914–1940 (Baton Rouge, LA, 2009), 9.

45 Smith, “The Crisis in the Great War.”

46 Vive La France!The Crisis 15, no. 5 (Mar. 1918): 209–60, here 215; For What?,” “The Fields of Battle,” “Pan-African Congress,” The Crisis 15, no. 6 (Apr. 1919): 261312, here 268–9, 271–4. Du Bois of course was not alone in recognizing this as a watershed moment in global history. See Manela, Erez, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford, UK, 2007).

47 The Black Man in the Revolution of 1914–1918,” The Crisis 17, no. 5 (Mar. 1919): 209–60, here 218–23.

48 “My Mission,” “Rape,” “Documents of War,” “Returning Soldiers,” The Crisis 18, no. 1 (May 1919): 151, here 7–21; Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 1, 578.

49 See Kornweibel, Theodore Jr., “Seeing Red”: Federal Campaigns against Black Militancy, 1919–1925 (Bloomington, IN, 1998), 5475.

50 History,” The Crisis 18, no. 1 (May 1919), 151, here 11.

51 Du Bois, W. E. B., “An Essay Toward a History of the Black Man in the Great War,” The Crisis 18, no. 2 (June 1919): 53118, here 63–87.

52 “History,” The Crisis (May 1919): 11; “Documents of War,” The Crisis (May 1919): 21.

53 Charles R. Isum to W. E. B. Du Bois, May 17, 1919, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

54 “The History of the Great War,” The Crisis (June 1919): 59–60.

55 Key works on the “Red Summer” include Krugler, David F., 1919, The Year of Racial Violence: How African Americans Fought Back (Cambridge, UK, 2014); McWhirter, Cameron, Red Summer: The Summer of 1919 and the Awakening of Black America (New York, 2011); and Tuttle, William M. Jr., Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 (New York, 1970). For examples of global racial unrest in 1919, see Freyer, Peter, Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain (London, 1985); Singh, Kelvin, Race and Class Struggles in a Colonial State: Trinidad, 1919–1945 (Kingston, Jamaica, 1994); Stovall, Tyler, “The Color Line behind the Lines: Racial Violence in France during the Great War,” The American Historical Review 103, no. 3 (June 1998): 737–69; James, Winston, Holding Aloft the Banner of Ethiopia: Caribbean Radicalism in Early Twentieth-Century America (London, 1999); Jenkinson, Jacqueline, Black 1919: Riots, Racism and Resistance in Imperial Britain (Liverpool, UK, 2009); and Lloyd, Nicholas, The Amritsar Massacre: The Untold Story of One Fateful Day (London, 2011).

56 Du Bois, Dusk of Dawn in W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings, 747.

57 Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 2, 13. Also see Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks, “Introduction,” in Du Bois, W. E. B., Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil (Oxford, 2014), xxv–xxxix.

58 Du Bois, W. E. B., Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil (New York, 1920; Mineola, NY, 1999), 1.

59 Ibid., 28.

60 Ibid., 22.

61 Ibid., 28.

62 Ibid., 130.

63 The Black Man and the Wounded World (unpublished), chs. 10, 13, 14, 16, folders 6–10, box 27, Du Bois Collection, Fisk. Keene argues that Du Bois, in his effort to defend the record of African American soldiers, elevated them to the level of racial symbols, in the process reducing their human complexity. Keene, “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Wounded World,” 141–2.

64 Keene, “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Wounded World,” 139–40; The Black Man and the Wounded World (unpublished), ch. 8 “The Challenge,” folder 5, box 27, Du Bois Collection, Fisk.

65 Ibid.

66 “The Conservation of Races,” in W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings, 821.

67 Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 2, 28–9.

68 On Charles Young, see Kilroy, David P., For Race and Country: The Life and Career of Colonel Charles Young (Westport, CT, 2003) and Shellum, Brian, Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young (Lincoln, NE, 2010).

69 Bois, Du, “Charles Young,” The Crisis 26, no. 3 (July 1923): 98144, here 104–6.

70 The Black Man and the Wounded World (unpublished), ch. 3, “The World of Black Folk,” folder 24, box 27; ch. 4 “Black France”; ch. 5, “Black England,” folders 1–2, box 28, Du Bois Collection, Fisk. For further discussion, see Keene, “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Wounded World,” 143–7.

71 The Black Man and the Wounded World (unpublished), ch. 3, “The World of Black Folk,” folder 24, box 27, Du Bois Collection, Fisk.

72 Du Bois, W. E. B., “The Black Man and the Wounded World: A History of the Negro Race in the World War and After,” The Crisis 27, no. 3 (Jan. 1924): 98146, here 110–14; Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois, Vol. 2, 254.

73 W. E. B. Du Bois to the Macmillan Company, Sept. 10, 1925; J. H. Dillard to W. E. B. Du Bois, June 25, 1927; W. E. B. Du Bois to John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Aug. 11, 1928; American Fund for Public Service, Imperialism Committee to W. E. B. Du Bois, ca. Jan. 10, 1929; W. E. B. Du Bois to Julius Rosenwald Fund, Dec. 19, 1930, all in Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

74 Carter G. Woodson to W. E. B. Du Bois, Apr. 28, 1924, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

75 W. E. B. Du Bois to James Dillard, Sept. 27, 1927, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

76 Du Bois, “The Black Man and the Wounded World,” 114.

77 The Black Man and the Wounded World, Subscriptions, folders 6–11, box 1, Du Bois Collection, Fisk.

78 Du Bois, W. E. B., “The Story of the War,” The Crisis 28, no. 1 (May 1924): 148, here 36–8.

79 W. E. B. Du Bois to Otis B. Duncan, June 19, 1923, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

80 Barnes, Harry Elmer, “Assessing the Blame for the World War: A Revised Judgement Based on All the Available Documents,” Current History 20 (May 1924): 171–95. For more on Barnes, see Roy Turnbaugh, “Harry Elmer Barnes and World War I Revisionism: An Absence of Dialogue,” Peace & Change 5, nos. 2–3 (Oct. 1978): 63–9.

81 Novick, That Noble Dream, 207–24.

82 “War-Guilt Soundings: A Summary of 429 Opinions,” “Symposium on War Responsibility,” “Found Guilty!,” “The Case Reopened,” The World Tomorrow, Oct. 1930, 395–405.

83 W. E. B. Du Bois to the World Tomorrow, June 24, 1930, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

84 “Symposium on War Responsibility,” The World Tomorrow, Oct. 1930, 399.

85 W. E. B. Du Bois to Alfred Harcourt, Sept. 23, 1931, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

86 Du Bois, W. E. B., Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880 (New York, 1935; New York, 1995), 708.

87 Alfred Harcourt to W. E. B. Du Bois, Oct. 6, 1931, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

88 Social Science Research Council to W. E. B. Du Bois, Mar. 20, 1935, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

89 W. E. B. Du Bois to James Shotwell, Jan. 16, 1936, Du Bois Papers, U-Mass.

90 Du Bois grant submission to the American Philosophical Society, Mar. 9, 1937; American Philosophical Society to Du Bois, Mar. 11, 1937; American Philosophical Society to Du Bois, Apr. 12, 1937, folder 33, box 14, Du Bois Collection, Fisk.

91 Du Bois, “Dusk of Dawn” in W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings, 746.

92 Ibid., 740–1.

93 On the irrationality of the war, see Fussell, Paul, The Great War and Modern Memory (New York, 1975).

94 Du Bois, Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois, 274.

95 Du Bois grant submission to the American Philosophical Society, Mar. 9, 1937, folder 33, box 14, Du Bois Collection, Fisk.

Many thanks, first and foremost, to Brooke Blower and Sarah Phillips for encouraging me to submit this article to MAH and for their editorial leadership. They were part of a writing group of Boston-area historians who read an early draft of this article with great care and offered constructive criticism. The observations and suggestions from the three anonymous reviewers made this article much stronger. Audiences at Duke University, Hamilton College, SUNY Binghamton, and Vanderbilt University, where I have presented aspects of this work, provided me with helpful feedback. A wonderful conversation with colleagues at the Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study at Harvard University pushed me to think through final revisions. Finally, I am deeply indebted to David Levering Lewis and Jennifer Keene for their scholarship and professional support, and for indulging me in conversations about W. E. B. Du Bois and World War I over the years.

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