You are here

Against the Hounds of Hell

A Life of Howard Thurman
Peter Eisenstadt

BUY Ebook · 544 pp. · ISBN 9780813944531 · $34.95 · Feb 2021
BUY Cloth · 544 pp. · 6.13 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813944524 · $34.95 · Feb 2021

An inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and other leaders of the civil rights movement, Howard Thurman was a crucial figure in the history of African Americans in the 20th century. Until now, however, he has not received the biographical treatment he deserves. In Against the Hounds of Hell, Thurman scholar Peter Eisenstadt offers a fascinating exploration of the life of this religious thinker and activist.

Thurman’s life, was as notable for its remarkable variety as its accomplishments. The first significant African American pacifist, Thurman was the first African American to meet Mahatma Gandhi. An early and outspoken feminist, environmentalist, and advocate for social and economic justice, he was one of the first and most insistent mid-twentieth-century proponents of racial integration. At the same time, he was a key figure in the emergence of mysticism and spirituality as an alternative to formal religion.

Thurman dedicated his career to challenging what he called the "hounds of hell"—the ways in which fear, deception, and hatred so often dogged the steps of African Americans and the marginalized and disinherited peoples of the world. This biography will at last establish this multifaceted historical personage as a leading figure of twentieth-century American politics, religion, and culture.


Until now, there has been no standard one-volume biography of this transcendently important figure, one of the most important ministers, theologians, and philosophers of twentieth-century America. Eisenstadt’s magisterial work is the definitive biography of Thurman.

Paul Harvey, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, author of Howard Thurman and the Disinherited: A Religious Biography

In this book, Peter Eisenstadt gives current and future generations a masterpiece for understanding Thurman’s significance in shaping our history and a promising future.

Luther E. Smith Jr., Emory University, author of Howard Thurman: The Mystic as Prophet

About the Author(s): 

Peter Eisenstadt was Associate Editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project and is an affiliate member of the Clemson University history department. He is author of Rochdale Village: Robert Moses, 6,000 Families, and New York City’s Great Experiment in Integrated Housing.

Interested in this topic?
Stay updated with our newsletters:

Related Books