The latest news about Measuring the Harlem Renaissance

May 30, 2017

Choice Reviews lists Measuring the Harlem Renaissance on its "Top 75 Community College Titles" list.

May 15, 2017

From Choice Reviews vol. 54, no. 9 (May 2017):

In this fascinating book, Soto (Trinity Univ.) takes a new and startling approach to understanding the racial divides and communities that informed the literature of the Harlem Renaissance: he peers at the subject through the lens of the US census. Going back to 1790, Soto presents data that show who was counted, how people were sorted, and who was doing the counting and sorting. The conclusions are revelatory. For example, data reveal that census enumerators—not residents themselves—assigned racial classifications through the 1960 census, a reality that upends some beliefs about “passing.” Soto disputes claims about Jean Toomer’s racial self-identity made by Rudolph Byrd and Henry Louis Gates Jr. in their edition of Cane (2011); analyzes W. E. B. Du Bois’s understanding of who counted as black folk; and examines James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man(1912), Nella Larsen’s Passing (1929), and other works. This deft study demonstrates what can be learned about literature (assuming the use of accessible language) from nontraditional tools—including game theory, geostatistics, and urban planning data. This reviewer only wishes the historical maps and graphs were larger and in color.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers.

February 9, 2017

Measuring the Harlem Renaissance will be featured at the San Antonio Book Festival on April 8, 2017. Read the press release and visit Michael's SABF author site.

December 9, 2016

From the Chronicle of Higher Education (December 9, 2016):

Juxtaposes U.S. Census and other government understandings of African-American identity with the views of black writers and intellectuals of the period.

November 20, 2016

Measuring the Harlem Renaissance is now available for purchase from, UMass Press, and other booksellers. Order your copy today!

September 1, 2016

Measuring the Harlem Renaissance is forthcoming from the University of Massachusetts Press in November 2016. Click here for more details from the UMass Press website.