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Wilson Jeremiah Moses Table



Books by Wilson Jeremiah Moses

Golden Age of Black Nationalism, 1850-1925 (1988)  / The Wings of Ethiopia  (1990)

 Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent (1992)  / Destiny & Race: Selected Writings, 1840-1898  (1992) 

 Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Manipulations of a Religious Myth (1993)

Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s  / Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History (2002)

Creative Conflict in African American Thought (2004)

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Wilson Jeremiah Moses  received his Ph.D., Brown University, 1975. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Ford Foundation; grants from ACLS, NEH, American Philosophical Society. And he has enjoyed Senior Fulbright Professorships at University of Vienna and University of Berlin.

Wilson Jeremiah Moses is Ferree Professor of American History and Senior Fellow of the Arts and Humanities Institute at the Pennsylvania State University. He has been Fulbright Senior Lecturer at the Free University of Berlin and Fulbright Guest Professor at the University of Vienna. He has written five books an published three others as a documentary editor.

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"My undergraduate and early graduate studies were centered in European intellectual history, religious studies, and art history, with a concentration on British literature, 1660-1822. I was early influenced by James G. Frazier's The Golden Bough, Grimm's Fairy Tales, and all historical and linguistic approaches to language and literature. My fascination with classical and Germanic mythology led me as an adult to spend as much time as possible in Europe.

In later years, while teaching at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Vienna, I was able to conduct office hours in German. I have painfully achieved a more limited but passable, ability to read and write French, by taking language courses at the Catholic University of Paris.

“My publishing specialty has emphasized the intellectual culture of Afro-American elites in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My studies in political and economic thought are consistently integrated with my artistic and literary interests. For the past decade my teaching has focused on the United States, 1787 to 1848. I am currently writing articles on Benjamin Franklin and W. E. B. Du Bois, for the Cambridge University press, and completing a book on European influences on American literary and intellectual history during the eighteenth-century Enlightenment.” more bio 

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Dear Friends,
You are invited to read my editorial "Bridges to Nowhere," which is about break-away provinces and break away lovers. On technical matters, I still have much to learn. First blog entry since Dec 13, 2008 can be found at: —Wilson Moses

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All created Equal?  a Sinister Doctrine!

Andromeda 19

Anti Intellectualism and Right Wing Populism

Aquinas, Smith, Jefferson, Malthus, Marx, Keynes

Basic Background Reading on Afrocentrism

Business, Industry, and Education for Success

Castrating the Whistle Blower

Celebrating Alexander Crummell

Creative Conflict   

Dwight David Eisenhower  

Economic status of African Americans

The Eternal Linkage of Literature and Society  

Federalist and Fourteenth Amendment

General Motors and General Petraeus

Historiography and African Americans: Benjamin Quarles

If this Be Lynching (As in Merrill Lynch)

Ignorance, Facts, and Betrayal of the Dream

Joe the Plumber and Adam Smith

John Hope Franklin WPSU Booknotes

Just Another Fine Gentleman  

Knowledge and Ignorance: Two Barriers to Learning

Liberty and Empire

The More Perfect Union or Reconstruction Blues

Money is Speech

Notes on  Brother Bill Cosby‏

New Orleans and American Exceptionalism 

Obama and Bitterness

Open Letter to Ed Schultz, MSNBC

Open Letter to President Barack Obama

Obama Women and Racist Exceptionalism

On the Passing of Asa Hilliard 

Open Letter to Ed Schultz, MSNBC

Open Letter to President Barack Obama (26 April 2011)

The Reagan Doctrine of National Suicide

Reaganite Denounces Bush

Regulators, Obfuscators, and Inflators

Republicans' Brilliant Cynical Coup

Responses to an American Speculator

Teaching Preferences

Tea Party, Schmee Party

Teflon Sense of History   

Thomas Friedman Benjamin Franklin? Which do you Trust?

A Time for Peace: A Time for War

The Truth Matters (Michele Obama speech)

Two Scholars Discuss Afrocentrism as A Racial Ideology: History & Ethics

Uncle Jeff and His Contempos

What Can Be Done?

When the Masters Big House Burns

Wilson's Obama Poem

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America With Its Pants Down

Asa Hilliard Obituary

The Autobiography of William Sanders Scarborough

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Britannica Negro 1910

Capitol Hill in Black and White

Charles B. Dew Review 

Christian Slave By Whittier

Civil Rights: Struggle for Black Power

Colonial and Early National Financial History


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Education & History  

The Exhilarating Generosity of Asa Hilliard 

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Fifty Influential Figures

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Generations of Captivity Reviews  

George Schuyler Agrees To Review

George Schuyler and Christian

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Lies Truth and Unwaged Housework

Livin' The Blues Contents

Locked Up in Land of the Free

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Lynching Index

Many Thousands Gone

Marcus Bruce Christian

The Negro as Author 

Negro History and Culture

NEW HAMPSHIRE  John Greenleaf Whittier

No Brass Check Journalists

Pan-African Nationalism in the Americas

Putting the Country First (Lewis)

Race in US Politics Syllabus 

Race Prejudice and the Negro Artist 

The Racial View of 9/11 

Religion & Politics

Resolving the Oedipus Complex

The Responsibility of the Artist

Selected Letters 

Slave Reparation Bill of 1867

Special Order 15

Thomas Jefferson's Negro Family

Trickle Down Racism

Ugly Truths 

WEB Du Bois Table    

Which U.S. Presidents Owned Slaves?

Why We Owe Them    

The Works of William Sanders Scarborough

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To the Brown Daily Herald, May 8, 2012
I have been following press reports of the Providence RI debt crisis and the apparent necessity of a bail-out to be financed by Brown University. I am a Brown alumnus (Ph. D. 1975) a former department head at Brown (1980-88), and since 1992, professor of history at the Pennsylvania State University. The discussion of Brown’s future role as taxpayer seems inseparable from the issue of the privatization of American education.

I was an undergraduate at Wayne State University in Detroit (1960-65) where a semester’s tuition was no more than a garbage collector’s take-home pay for one week. Neither I, nor any of my acquaintances, ever knew of a student loan, or incurred any student debt.

Nowadays, almost all state universities in the U.S.A. have been effectively privatized. I shall not address the travesty of for-profit “universities” with their abysmal admissions standards, exorbitant tuitions, high loan-default rates and lack of humanities or social science programs. American students, who are currently obliged to pay interest on student loans in addition to tuition, and indirect taxes to local municipalities, often graduate with loan debt exceeding $30,000.

I have experienced post-graduate life in French and British universities, and taught in German and Austrian universities, where the American pattern is regarded with alarm and foreboding. I fear that in coming years American university education will become increasingly privatized and less affordable for ordinary people.
Wilson J. Moses, Alumnus
Former Chair of American Civilization

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ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)



I have been to Africa only twice, and spent a total of a mere six weeks on the continent.  That is a pathetically short time.  I once met a beautiful young Afro-American woman in the Liberian rain forest, with tears in her eyes as she began to understand the dark lies of the cannibalistic Tolbert regime, and realized she was stranded at Cuttington College for a year.  More recently I had a beautiful young Euro-American woman tell me she wanted to spend four months in Senegal because she was interested in the prehistory of Olduvai Gorge.  I had to remind her that the distance from Dakar to Nairobi is greater than the distance from Fairbanks to Mexico City. On the Passing of Asa Hilliard

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I have been reading Lessing's 1759 essay on fables and his translations into German of Aesop (a Negro?) yesterday morning.  I don't know what influences Lessing might have had on the Grimm Brothers.  I think Lessing must have influenced people like Leo Frobenius, an important German student of African myths and legends around 1900.  Senghor and Cesaire say the French negritude poets were fascinated by Frobenius' work, when it was finally translated into French. Du Bois read Frobenius in German, and Frobenius was a major influence on his book The Negro (1915), Black Folk, Then and Now (1939, and The World and Africa (1946),  Du Bois writes of the influences of Richard Wagner on himself in his Autobiography.   Uncle Jeff and His Contempos

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Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent

By Wilson J. Moses

This remarkable biography, based on much new information, examines the life and times of one of the most prominent African-American intellectuals of the nineteenth century. Born in New York in 1819, Alexander Crummell was educated at Queen's College, Cambridge, after being denied admission to Yale University and the Episcopal Seminary on purely racial grounds. In 1853, steeped in the classical tradition and modern political theory, he went to the Republic of Liberia as an Episcopal missionary, but was forced to flee to Sierra Leone in 1872, having barely survived republican Africa's first coup. He accepted a pastorate in Washington, D.C., and in 1897 founded the American Negro Academy, where the influence of his ideology was felt by W.E.B. Du Bois and future progenitors of the Garvey Movement. A pivotal nineteenth-century thinker, Crummell is essential to any understanding of twentieth-century black nationalism.

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I don't know what good it did a little colored boy on the east side of Detroit to have this information, but by the time, I was fourteen, I had pretty-well worked my way through the two Tchaikovsky compositions that my father had in his collections of 78 RPM recordings, and when good old mom brought home a translation of Dante's Divine Comedy complete with all the Doré engravings, well, wasn't I in seventh heaven.  I read the entire Inferno, although I didn't have the foggiest notion of what I was reading.  But perhaps that the story of Dante's devotion and the concept of Platonic love saved me during my sexually deprived adolescence, from many of the problems that befall black boys.   I attended a Roman Catholic Parochial school, where my two sisters and I constituted half the colored population.  Sexual Puritanism was a good defense mechanism in that working-class German and Italian environment. A Response to Professor Cleanth Brooks

Speak My Name

Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream

Edited by Don Belton

Race Men

By Hazel V. Carby

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The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations

By Ira Berlin

Berlin (Many Thousands Gone) offers a fresh reading of American history through the prism of the great migrations that made and remade African and African American life. The first was the forcible deportation of Africans to North America in the 17th and 18th centuries, followed by their forced transfer into the American interior during the 19th century. Then came the migration of the mid-20th century as African-Americans fled the South for the urban North, and the arrival of continental Africans and people of African descent from the Caribbean during the latter part of the 20th century. Berlin sees migration and the reshaping of communities to their new environments as central to the African-American experience. Movement is a matter of numbers, and Berlin provides them in detail kept fully readable by his attention to the cultural products of the shifts. In particular, he follows the church as it moves, the music as it takes on new themes, and kinship as it broadens. Berlin's careful scholarship is evidenced in his rich notes; the ordinary reader will be pleased by the fluidity and clarity of his prose.—Publishers Weekly

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.”

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The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788

By Pauline Maier

A notable historian of the early republic, Maier devoted a decade to studying the immense documentation of the ratification of the Constitution. Scholars might approach her book’s footnotes first, but history fans who delve into her narrative will meet delegates to the state conventions whom most history books, absorbed with the Founders, have relegated to obscurity. Yet, prominent in their local counties and towns, they influenced a convention’s decision to accept or reject the Constitution. Their biographies and democratic credentials emerge in Maier’s accounts of their elections to a convention, the political attitudes they carried to the conclave, and their declamations from the floor. The latter expressed opponents’ objections to provisions of the Constitution, some of which seem anachronistic (election regulation raised hackles) and some of which are thoroughly contemporary (the power to tax individuals directly).—Booklist

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Malcolm X

A Life of Reinvention

By Manning Marable

Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist.

Of the great figure in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world.

Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties.

Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

Civil Rights and Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower / Book Review: JFK Why England Slept

List of federal judges appointed by Dwight D. Eisenhower / Civil Rights and Presidents: Kennedy and Johnson

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power (Robert Caro) / Q&A with Robert Caro

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Why England Slept
by John F. Kennedy


It is difficult to read Why England Slept without seeing the shadow of the future president hanging over every word.  Most prophetic indeed is Henry Luce's foreword, which notes on p. xiv: "In recent months there has been a certain amount of alarm concerning the "attitude" of the younger generation. If John Kennedy is characteristic of the younger generation—and I believe he is—many of us would be happy to have the destinies of this Republic handed over to his generation at once." For it is Kennedy, after all, who launched the Peace Corps, challenged his country to land a man on the moon, and stirred countless young Americans with his optimistic talk of a New Frontier.  Young Jack Kennedy had Destiny infused in every fiber of his being.TaoYue

New York: Funk, July 1940.  / Reprinted by Greenwood Press, 1981. ISBN 0313228744.

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A Matter of Justice

Eisenhower and the Beginning of the Civil Rights Revolution

By David. A. Nichols

David A. Nichols  takes us inside the Oval Office to look over Ike's shoulder as he worked behind the scenes, prior to Brown, to desegregate the District of Columbia and complete the desegregation of the armed forces. We watch as Eisenhower, assisted by his close collaborator, Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Jr., sifted through candidates for federal judgeships and appointed five pro-civil rights justices to the Supreme Court and progressive judges to lower courts. We witness Eisenhower crafting civil rights legislation, deftly building a congressional coalition that passed the first civil rights act in eighty-two years, and maneuvering to avoid a showdown with Orval Faubus, the governor of Arkansas, over desegregation of Little Rock's Central High. Nichols demonstrates that Eisenhower, though he was a product of his time and its backward racial attitudes, was actually more progressive on civil rights in the 1950s than his predecessor, Harry Truman, and his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. . . .  In fact, Eisenhower's actions laid the legal and political groundwork for the more familiar breakthroughs in civil rights achieved in the 1960s.

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The Gardens of Democracy: A New American Story

of Citizenship, the Economy, and the Role of Government

By Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer

American democracy is informed by the 18th century’s most cutting edge thinking on society, economics, and government. We’ve learned some things in the intervening 230 years about self interest, social behaviors, and how the world works. Now, authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer argue that some fundamental assumptions about citizenship, society, economics, and government need updating. For many years the dominant metaphor for understanding markets and government has been the machine. Liu and Hanauer view democracy not as a machine, but as a garden. A successful garden functions according to the inexorable tendencies of nature, but it also requires goals, regular tending, and an understanding of connected ecosystems. The latest ideas from science, social science, and economics—the cutting-edge ideas of today—generate these simple but revolutionary ideas: (The economy is not an efficient machine. It’s an effective garden that need tending. Freedom is responsibility. Government should be about the big what and the little how. True self interest is mutual interest.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 9 May 2012