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Booker T. Washington: Volume 2: The Wizard Of Tuskegee, 1901-1915 (Oxford Paperbacks) [Paperback]

by Louis R. Harlan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 4, 1986 0195042298 978-0195042290 Reprint
The first volume of Louis R. Harlan's biography of Booker T. Washington was published to wide acclaim and won the 1973 Bancroft Prize. This, the second volume, completes one of the most significant biographies of this generation.

Booker T. Washington was the most powerful black American of his time, and here he is captured at his zenith. Harlan reveals Washington's complex personality--in sharp contrast to his public demeanor, he was a ruthless power borker whose nod or frown could determine the careers of blacks in politics, education, and business.

Harlan chronicles the challenge Washington faced from W.E.B. Du Bois and other blacks, and shows how growing opposition forced him to change his methods of leadership just before his death in 1915.
Also available: Volume 1, $10.95k, 501915-6, 394 pp., plates

Frequently Bought Together

Booker T. Washington: Volume 2: The Wizard Of Tuskegee, 1901-1915 (Oxford Paperbacks) + Booker T. Washington: Volume 1: The Making of a Black Leader, 1856-1901 (Galaxy Book: 428) + Up from Slavery (Dover Thrift Editions)
Price for all three: $84.93

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Editorial Reviews


"One of the most important biographies of our time....With this long-awaited second (and final) volume...Harlan has written the definitive biography of Booker T. Washington....He brings to life a man of enormous complexity, an enigmatic figure who offends our era's sensibilities and refuses to meet our preconceived notions of how a great leader should behave."--Washington Post Book World

"From every standpoint a tour de force....Harlan's study of the Wizard of Tuskegee is in every respect definitive--a model of the demanding art of biography."--American Historical Review

"A major contribution to black history."--Southwestern Historical Quarterly

"A superb work of scholarship....To meet the challenge of a subject as complex, difficult and treacherous as Washington calls for a biographical talent of a high order. Mr. Harlan's writing displays all the necessary skills and art...[He] deserves honors for his remarkable achievement."--C. Vann Woodward, The New York Times Book Review

"A magnificent biography....[Harlan] throws into relief the man, his era--and the larger problem of pragmatic temporizing in the face of racial injustice."--Newsweek

"The best biography of an Afro-American....Combining sympathy and critical detachment with a sure eye for complexity and ambiguity, Harlan has used his unparalleled knowledge of the Washington papers to dismantle the wall of circumlocution, indirection, and masked purpose with which Washington surrounded himself and to probe deeply the multiple facets of his very active life."--Journal of Southern History

"Harlan does a masterful job of unmasking his complex subject within the context of the social forces that shaped him."--Journal of American History

"A brilliant completion of what will stand as the definitive biography of Booker T. Washington."--Herbert Shapiro, University of Cincinnati

About the Author

Louis R. Harlan is at University of Maryland, College Park.

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 562 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; Reprint edition (December 4, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195042298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195042290
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #793,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars deliverer with human traits January 25, 2004
_I think you will make a mistake if you will let your mind dwell too much upon American prejudice, or any other racial prejudice. The thing is for one to get above such things. If one gets in the habit of continually thinking and talking about race prejudice, he soon gets gets to the point where he is fit for little that is worth doing. In the northern part of the United States, there are a number of colored people who make their lives miserable, because all their talk is about race prejudice_ Booker T. Washington in a letter to his daughter Portia then living and studying in Europe.(117)
I am greatly impressed with this text, BOOKER T. WASINGTON, The Wizard of Tuskegee, 1901-1915. Professor Louis R. Harlan earned the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for History with this biography along with the Bancroft Prize and the Beveridge Award of the American Historical Association. The principle source is the Booker T Washington Papers in the Division of Manuscripts of the LIbrary of Congress, a rich, expanding collection of approximately a million letters, speeches, reports, newspaper clippings, and other documents. Professor Harlan is the editor of the published source that extends, currently, to 14 volumes. This material is available on-line in an Open-Book format at the site maintained by the University of Illinois Press ([...]
This book begins in 1901, when Booker T. Washington at the age of forty-five was approaching the zenith of his fame and influence, and ends with his death in 1915. It is a biographical study in the sense that its focus is on the complex, enigmatic figure of Washington, the most powerful black minority-group boss of his time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Standard Work April 17, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In 1901, Booker T. Washington published his autobiography, calling it Up From Slavery. The book was widely popular, especially among Northern philanthropists who admired Washington's work ethic and rags to riches success story. But for many African Americans during the Progressive Era, it seemed that little had changed since the days of slavery. As Washington stood at the pinnacle of his career, blacks lost political and civil rights they had earned during the Reconstruction. Naturally, some of the blame for the failure of blacks to "rise up" was directed at Washington, whose industrial education scheme had been deemed realistic but anachronistic and a plea to the white man to "grant us freedom please."

But Washington was secure in his philosophy and defended it to the end. As an advisor to President Roosevelt he gained extra political clout, but he was already well connected. Washington used his financial and political bargaining chips to confront opponents like William Monroe Trotter, a black Harvard graduate whose Boston movement charged Washington with perpetuating black subordination. Washington was engaged in a propaganda war against Trotter and others. For political tact, he always referred to his opponents as an impossibly small and spoiled vocal minority. At what became known as the "Boston Riot", Washington found himself peppered with loaded questions from an audience stacked with Trotterites, a group whose misbehavior at the event landed a number in jail. In response to the verbal attack, Washington invited Trotter's leading supporters to conferences, only to overwhelm and embarrass them in return. W.E.B. DuBois' Niagara Movement was an attempt to remedy the lack of unity in the black community.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book and Great Service May 14, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I ordered the book because I wanted a more comprehensive and expansive biography of Principal Booker T. Washington. Before President Obama,Principal Washington was the most world known and powerful man of color in America. Because of his political/educational views, he is sometimes one of the more misunderstood man in America. He ascend the American scene upon the death of Frederick Douglass. Principal Washington lived to see so many of the gains of The American Reconstruction in the South undermined by law and statue and he also witness retreat by the Federal Government and civil society regarding the aspirations of many black Americans.

While this book not be the written regarding Booker T. Washington,it will take its place on the "must read" list of any thoughtful lover of American History.
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