Hot Best Seller

George Washington Williams: A Biography

Availability: Ready to download

In George Washington Williams, John Hope Franklin reconstructs the life of the controversial, self-made black intellectual who wrote the first history of African Americans in the United States. Awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize, this book traces Franklin’s forty-year quest for Williams’s story, a story largely lost to history until this volume was first publishe In George Washington Williams, John Hope Franklin reconstructs the life of the controversial, self-made black intellectual who wrote the first history of African Americans in the United States. Awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize, this book traces Franklin’s forty-year quest for Williams’s story, a story largely lost to history until this volume was first published in 1985. The result, part biography and part social history, is a unique consideration of a pioneering historian by his most distinguished successor. Williams, who lived from 1849 to 1891, had a remarkable career as soldier, minister, journalist, lawyer, politician, freelance diplomat, and African traveler, as well as a historian. While Franklin reveals the accomplishments of this neglected figure and emphasizes the racism that curtailed Williams’s many talents, he also highlights the personal weaknesses that damaged Williams’s relationships and career. Williams led the way in presenting African American history accurately through the use of oral history and archival research, sought to legitimize it as a field of historical study, and spoke out in support of an American Negro Historical Society and as a critic of European imperialism in Africa. He also became erratic and faithless to his family and creditors and died at the age of forty-one, destitute and alienated from family and friends. George Washington Williams is nothing less than a classic biography of a brilliant though flawed individual whose History of the Negro Race in America remains a landmark in African American history and American intellectual history.


Compare

In George Washington Williams, John Hope Franklin reconstructs the life of the controversial, self-made black intellectual who wrote the first history of African Americans in the United States. Awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize, this book traces Franklin’s forty-year quest for Williams’s story, a story largely lost to history until this volume was first publishe In George Washington Williams, John Hope Franklin reconstructs the life of the controversial, self-made black intellectual who wrote the first history of African Americans in the United States. Awarded the Clarence L. Holte Literary Prize, this book traces Franklin’s forty-year quest for Williams’s story, a story largely lost to history until this volume was first published in 1985. The result, part biography and part social history, is a unique consideration of a pioneering historian by his most distinguished successor. Williams, who lived from 1849 to 1891, had a remarkable career as soldier, minister, journalist, lawyer, politician, freelance diplomat, and African traveler, as well as a historian. While Franklin reveals the accomplishments of this neglected figure and emphasizes the racism that curtailed Williams’s many talents, he also highlights the personal weaknesses that damaged Williams’s relationships and career. Williams led the way in presenting African American history accurately through the use of oral history and archival research, sought to legitimize it as a field of historical study, and spoke out in support of an American Negro Historical Society and as a critic of European imperialism in Africa. He also became erratic and faithless to his family and creditors and died at the age of forty-one, destitute and alienated from family and friends. George Washington Williams is nothing less than a classic biography of a brilliant though flawed individual whose History of the Negro Race in America remains a landmark in African American history and American intellectual history.

38 review for George Washington Williams: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yesenia

    as i was reading this biography, i was not loving it. george washington williams was not easy to like--but i couldn't see why. and then i saw the light. the man has been forgotten for the simple reason that he owed a bunch of people money, and the fact that he was black. but he was the first perso to use newspapers as a historical source--this was MAJOR!!! and he wrote an expose of the Belgian Congo that revealed the terrible atrocities that were taking place there!!!! this man was brilliant, multi as i was reading this biography, i was not loving it. george washington williams was not easy to like--but i couldn't see why. and then i saw the light. the man has been forgotten for the simple reason that he owed a bunch of people money, and the fact that he was black. but he was the first perso to use newspapers as a historical source--this was MAJOR!!! and he wrote an expose of the Belgian Congo that revealed the terrible atrocities that were taking place there!!!! this man was brilliant, multifaceted, complex, adventurous, ambitious, brave, but he was "the first black man to", so we all need him to have been perfect. and of course he wasn't. he had a tendency to live beyond his means and have his friends sort of foot the bill. so he wasn't financially successful and he owed people money! wth, big deal! he did not defraud needy people of money! he sponged off people who could afford it, christ. a few decades earlier, and a white guy, and he would've been totally accepted for doing that. perhaps the author of the biography should have spelled these things out more clearly, but he simply wanted the reader to figure it out on his or her own. maybe he shouldn't expect us to. i think if i had not thought long and hard about the book for WEEKS, as a graduate history student, i would simply not have gotten it. somebody needs to make a Netflix series out of GWW based on this book. it would be amazing--the man was a renaissance man--minister, journalist, soldier, politician, traveller, everything!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shlomo Levi

    a man few people, especially Black people know. It even turns out, that the white people who took advantage of his service and support, hardly mentioned him; George Washington Williams’s in their Autobiographies or dared to credit him with any information he was the source off. An almost illiterate Black man in the USA, enlists in the army and fights in the civil war, improved himself intellectually, and becomes a pastor, newspaper publisher, politician, a lawyer, and advocate for civil rights, a man few people, especially Black people know. It even turns out, that the white people who took advantage of his service and support, hardly mentioned him; George Washington Williams’s in their Autobiographies or dared to credit him with any information he was the source off. An almost illiterate Black man in the USA, enlists in the army and fights in the civil war, improved himself intellectually, and becomes a pastor, newspaper publisher, politician, a lawyer, and advocate for civil rights, not only of the Blacks in the USA, but those in Africa as well. Wrote extensively of the Negro race in two volumes which today still stands as background information for anyone who wants to understand the plight, the forceful contribution and discrimination faced by the Black race in the US. George W. Williams was not perfect, lacked financial resources, and depended on others for assistance. However, he did nothing wrong in the quest to build support and improve the conditions of his Black brethren. Colonel Williams made the acquaintance of the dirty and cruel barbarian, King Leopoldo of Belgium, but he dared to write a critique of the treatment of the natives in the Congo to which the colonial brute and his lapdogs set about to destroy the integrity of the man. He died, as a result of a long lasting injury he sustained in the American Civil war, far away from his people, in England, where he is interred.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Don

    I first encountered the name George Washington Williams in King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild, and it piqued my interest. I wasn't disappointed. It surprises me that one of the most important African Americans of the 19th century remains unknown, but history is fickle and sometimes recognition comes late. Williams rose from relative poverty to become a soldier in the union army, a lawyer, minister, politician and ultimately an author who wrote the first history of African-Americans and expo I first encountered the name George Washington Williams in King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild, and it piqued my interest. I wasn't disappointed. It surprises me that one of the most important African Americans of the 19th century remains unknown, but history is fickle and sometimes recognition comes late. Williams rose from relative poverty to become a soldier in the union army, a lawyer, minister, politician and ultimately an author who wrote the first history of African-Americans and exposed King Leopold's crimes in the Congo even while the rest of the world praised him. This is a fine read for anyone interested in the period and the struggles of black people in America.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jerry Gershenhorn

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie

  7. 4 out of 5

    Edwin J. White

  8. 5 out of 5

    Walker

  9. 5 out of 5

    Willard Ashley

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charles

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ourstorian

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brian TramueL

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Tickle

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  15. 5 out of 5

    Vy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marieke

  18. 4 out of 5

    N

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

  20. 4 out of 5

    KOMET

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  22. 4 out of 5

    Vannessa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christian

  24. 4 out of 5

    J Dunn

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthewphilbrook

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lede

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deedums

  30. 5 out of 5

    Beverley

  31. 5 out of 5

    G.

  32. 4 out of 5

    Will Haynes

  33. 4 out of 5

    Camille Hall

  34. 5 out of 5

    Derrick Bernard

  35. 4 out of 5

    Amiri Barksdale

  36. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Stephens

  37. 5 out of 5

    Benja

  38. 4 out of 5

    Raghu

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...