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The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
     

The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches

4.3 30
by W. E. B. Du Bois
 

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"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line." Thus speaks W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls Of Black Folk, one of the most prophetic and influental works in American literature. In this eloquent collection of essays, first published in 1903, Du Bois dares as no one has before to describe the magnitude of American racism and demand an end

Overview

"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line." Thus speaks W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls Of Black Folk, one of the most prophetic and influental works in American literature. In this eloquent collection of essays, first published in 1903, Du Bois dares as no one has before to describe the magnitude of American racism and demand an end to it. He draws on his own life for illustration, from his early experiences teaching in the hills of Tennessee to the death of his infant son and his historic break with the conciliatory position of Booker T. Washington.

Far ahead of its time, The Souls Of Black Folk both anticipated and inspired much of the black conciousness and activism of the 1960's and is a classic in the literature of civil rights. The elegance of DuBois's prose and the passion of his message are as crucial today as they were upon the book's first publication.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
The Souls of Black Folk throws much light upon the complexities of the negro problem, for it shows that the key note of at least some negro aspiration is still the abolition fo the social color line. -- New York Times review, April 1903; Books of the Century
Sacred Fire
Herein lie buried many things, which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here in the dawning of the Twentieth Century.

Born in Massachusetts in 1868, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was the foremost black intellectual of his time—and mind you, his time stretched all the way from Reconstruction to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. A man of staggering intellect and drive, he was the first black to hold a doctorate from Harvard University. Du Bois wrote three historical works, two novels, two autobiographies, and sixteen pioneering books on sociology, history, politics, and race relations. He was a founder of the NAACP, pioneering Pan-Africanist, spirited advocate for world peace, and tireless fighter for civil rights during the darkest days of Jim Crow.

Du Bois was also a prophet: At the turn of the century, he wrote in the "forethought" of this seminal collection of essays that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." That statement has resonated throughout this turbulent century and remains just as fresh today as in 1903. The Souls of Black Folk, a collection of fourteen powerfully written essays that are by turn testimony and autobiography, stands as a monumental achievement and quite possibly his most influential work. The book is both a vivid portrait of the conditions facing freshly emancipated black folk at the turn of the century and a still-relevant discussion of the dilemma of race in the United States. It was here that Du Bois introduced his influential concept of "double-consciousness": the struggle of black people trying to define themselves as both black and American.

What makes these unflinching, luminous, and troublesome essays so powerful is that each builds upon the other to try to answer questions about race that have perplexed, enraged, and divided America for over a century. Written in part to counter Booker T. Washington's prevailing strategy of accommodation, The Souls of Black Folk created a fresh way of looking at and protesting the multifaceted oppression of black people.

Library Journal
Du Bois's 1903 classic is one of many large-print standards being released by Transaction. Other new titles in the series include Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy (ISBN 1-56000-523-8), Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (ISBN 1-56000-517-3), H.G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau (ISBN 1-56000-515-7), Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey (ISBN 1-56000-507-8), E.M. Forster's A Passage to India (ISBN 1-56000-507-6), and Scott Fitzgerald's The Ice Palace and Other Stories (ISBN 1-56000-511-4). These are available in a mixture of paperback and hardcovers, with prices ranging from $17.95 to $24.95.

Product Details

BN ID:
2940017286678
Publisher:
Chicago, A. C. McClurg & co.
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
416 KB

Meet the Author

W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) was an African-American sociologist, civil rights activist, and author. He was one of the founding members of the NAACP, and he is well-known for believing on full civil rights and disagreeing with Booker T. Washington’s argument that blacks remain subservient. His most famous book, The Souls of Black Folk, defines the term "double-consciousness" and remains a cornerstone of African-American literature.

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The Souls Of Black Folk 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Lee4 More than 1 year ago
Very good book I read the book in college, and the second time I get a better understanding of Du Bois.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book "rocked my socks" from page one. DuBois writes, not as a victim of society, but as the proud member of an advanced society. He describes the "ways" -- the culture, society, beliefs, traditions, songs, meanings, faith, strengths, and hopes of African American people. He sets many misbeliefs right. He corrects many wrong impressions. He speaks the unspoken for the silent. This powerful book gave permission to a culture, validations for success in education, and political rise to the civil rights movements after his death. A graduate of Harvard and a founder of universities and the NAACP, DuBois is an "intellectual engine" for his generation. I found this book of essays a profound and important keystone in American history.
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Great book
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