Contexts and Composition History includes a selection of letters between Washington and his editor, Lyman Abbott, that reveals the process by which Up From Slavery was planned and written. Reviews from The Nation, North American Review, and Colored American Magazine offer examples of contemporary reaction to the book. An excerpt from My Larger Education includes Washington's impressions of Frederick Douglass and of his African American critics (among them W. E. B. Du Bois) and reveals his reaction to the mounting criticism of his social, ecomic, and political programs during the last years of his life. Criticism offers a collection of eight essays that present a variety of perspectives on Up From Slavery by W. E. B. Du Bois, Kelly Miller, August Meier, Louis R. Harlan, Sidonie Smith, James M. Cox, Houston A. Baker, Jr., and William L. Andrews. Together, these essays represent ninety years of the best critical and historical analysis of Up From Slavery and its author. A Chrology and Selected Bibliography are included.
William L. Andrews is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is general editor of Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature and The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Other works include the Norton Critical Edition of Up From Slavery; The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt; To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro- American Autobiography, 1760-1865; Sisters of the Spirit; The Curse of Caste by Julia C. Collins; Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave; and Slave Narratives after Slavery.