During his lifetime, Booker T. Washington was a national leader for the betterment of African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South. He advocated for economic and industrial improvement of Blacks while accommodating Whites on voting rights and social equality. This approach, however, died with Washington, and its success prior to 1915 was largely due to Washington's adept method of tailoring his speaking and writing to suit the race of his audience.
"Up from Slavery" tells the life story of Washington, from childhood through the height of his career. It is written in the first person, supplemented with excerpts from letters and newspaper editorials about his work.