His doctoral dissertation, American Negro Slave Revolts , was published in Doing research in Southern libraries and archives, he uncovered similar episodes.
Aptheker set forth historiographical arguments, challenging some conservative histories, most notably the perspective in the writings of Georgia -born historian Ulrich Bonnell Phillips , who was considered part of the Dunning School at Columbia University. Historians of this group had been critical of Reconstruction and argued that slavery was no worse than urban labor conditions. Phillips had characterized enslaved African Americans as childlike, inferior, and uncivilized; he argued that slavery was a benign institution; and defended the preservation of the Southern plantation system.
Such works had been common in the field before Aptheker's scholarship. Aptheker long emphasized W. Du Bois ' social science scholarship and lifelong struggle for African Americans to achieve equality. In his work as a historian, he compiled a documentary history of African Americans in the United States, a monumental collection which he started publishing in It eventually resulted in seven volumes of primary documents, a tremendous resource for African-American studies.
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During the s and the period of McCarthyism , Aptheker was blacklisted in academia because of his membership in the Communist Party. He was unable to obtain an appointment as a university lecturer for a decade. For several years in the s and s, he was executive director of the American Institute For Marxist Studies. In , he ran in the U.
Against racism: Unpublished essays, papers, addresses, 1887-1961
Given his work on African-American documents and history, Aptheker was chosen by W. Du Bois to be his literary executor. A strong opponent of the Vietnam War , Aptheker lectured on the subject on college campuses nationwide. Aptheker died at age 87 on March 17, , in Mountain View, California.
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His wife had died in In her memoir, Intimate Politics, she claimed that she was sexually abused by her father from the age of 3 to Her memories of the events began to arise in , after her mother's death and when she was working on a memoir. She sought counseling for her dissociation and recovered memory. Her assertion caused great controversy among historians and activists.
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Some raised questions about her credibility; others questioned the Old Left's desire to bury the news, and still others wondered at how to look at Aptheker's work in view of this information. In her memoir, Bettina Aptheker wrote more at length about her father's work on African-American history. She thought that he celebrated black resistance in part "to compensate for his deep shame about the way, he believed, the Jews had acted during the Holocaust.
The controversy about her claims about her father continued for months, with many essays and letters published on the History News Network hosted by George Mason University. In November , the historian Christopher Phelps published an overview of the issues.
He also wrote that he had interviewed Kate Miller, who had been present during Bettina Aptheker's conversation with her father about the abuse, and confirmed her account. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Herbert Aptheker.
Brooklyn, New York. Mountain View, California. Front Page Magazine. Retrieved February 11, The New York Times.
Retrieved December 18, Gannon, Biographical Dictionary of the Left: Volume 3. Boston: Western Islands, ; pp. Emeryville, Calif. Condition: New. Revised ed. Language: English.
ISBN 13: 9780870231346
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