W.E.B. Du Bois (1868- 1963)
(William Edward Burghardt Du Bois)
on the Great Leader and Teacher
Copyright © 2001 by Hugo S. Cunningham
Original text copyright © 1953 by W.E.B. Dubois (or "National Guardian"?)
Editing of Du Bois text by Stephen Schwartz may be copyright © 2000
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Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise, pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. ... Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than that; he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance. ... His judgment of men was profound. He early saw through the flamboyance and exhibitionism of Trotsky, who fooled the world, and especially America. The whole ill-bred and insulting attitude of Liberals in the U.S. today began with our naive acceptance of Trotsky's magnificent lying propaganda, which he carried around the world. Against it Stalin stood like a rock and moved neither right nor left, as he continued to advance toward a real socialism instead of the sham Trotsky offered. ... Such was the man who lies dead, still the butt of noisy jackals and of the ill-bred men of some parts of the distempered West. In life he suffered under continuous and studied insult; he was forced to make bitter decisions on his own lone responsibility. His reward comes as the common man stands in solemn acclaim.
Printed in "The National Guardian," 16 March 1953.
Edited by Stephen Schwartz (Washington Bureau Chief, "The Forward," Washington DC) for his letter to "The New Republic" (TNR, 12 Feb 2001, p. 7)
A different version, made available by MIM at URL:
conveys the same general sense.
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Oxford W.E.B. Du Bois Reader (NY: Oxford University Press, 1996), p. 287.
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