The University of Wisconsin Press

American History / African American Studies / Caribbean Studies


Black Moses
The Story of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association
E. David Cronon
With a Foreword by John Hope Franklin

"I stand before you this afternoon as a proud black man, honored to be a black man, who would be nothing else in God's creation but a black man."— Marcus Garvey, 1928

This landmark book, with more than 89,000 copies sold, is now available with an updated cover design.

In the early twentieth century, Marcus Garvey sowed the seeds of a new black pride and determination. Attacked by the black intelligentsia and ridiculed by the white press, this Jamaican immigrant astonished all with his black nationalist rhetoric. In just four years, he built the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the largest and most powerful all-black organization the nation had ever seen. With hundreds of branches throughout the United States, the UNIA represented Garvey’s greatest accomplishment and, ironically, the source of his public disgrace. Black Moses brings this controversial figure to life and recovers the significance of his life and work.

"Those who are interested in the revolutionary aspects of the twentieth century in America should not miss Cronon's book. It makes exciting reading."—The Nation

"A very readable, factual, and well-documented biography of Marcus Garvey."—George Schuyler, The Crisis, NAACP

"In a short, swiftly moving, penetrating biography, Mr. Cronon has made the first real attempt to narrate the Garvey story. From the Jamaican's traumatic race experiences on the West Indian island to dizzy success and inglorious failure on the mainland, the major outlines are here etched with sympathy, understanding and insight."—Leslie H. Fishel Jr., Mississippi Valley Historical Review (now the Journal of American History)

"Good reading for all serious history students."—Jet

"A vivid, detailed, and sound portrait of a man and his dreams." —Political Science Quarterly

E. David Cronon (1924–2006) was professor emeritus of history and dean emeritus of the College of Letters and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of numerous books and articles on twentieth-century American history, including Labor and the New Deal.

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Of Related Interest
Breaking the Chains
Slavery, Bondage, and Emancipation in Modern Africa and Asia
Edited by Martin A. Klein

the cover of Black Moses is green and black, with a green tinted photo of Marcus Garvey in a military-style uniform.

Available now
First published February 1955

LC: 76-101503 E
302 pp.   6 x 9   14 illus.

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Paper $19.95 s
ISBN 978-0-299-01214-4
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