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American Poems: Books: The Souls of Black Folk (Library Edition)
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The Souls of Black Folk (Library Edition)

  • List Price: $76.00
  • Buy New: $72.20
  • as of 7/26/2014 16:49 EDT details
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  • Seller:Amazon.com
  • Sales Rank:9,421,400
  • Format:Audiobook, Unabridged
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Audio CD
  • Number Of Items:7
  • Edition:Unabridged LIBRARY
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.6
  • Publication Date:November 1, 2010
  • ISBN:1441781099
  • EAN:9781441781093
  • ASIN:1441781099
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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
Far ahead of its time, The Souls of Black Folk both anticipated and inspired much of the black consciousness and activism of the 1960s. The elegance of Du Bois' prose and the passion of his message are as crucial today as they were upon the book's first publication.

''The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line,'' writes Du Bois, in one of the most prophetic works in all of American literature. First published in 1903, this collection of fifteen essays dared to describe the racism that prevailed at that time in America -- and to demand an end to it. Du Bois' writing draws on his early experiences, from teaching in the hills of Tennessee, to the death of his infant son, to his historic break with the conciliatory position of Booker T. Washington.

Du Bois received a doctorate from Harvard in 1895 and became a professor of economics and history at Atlanta University. His dynamic leadership in the cause of social reform on behalf of his fellow blacks anticipated and inspired much of the black activism of the 1960s. The Souls of Black Folk is a classic in the literature of civil rights.
Amazon.com Review
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) is the greatest of African American intellectuals--a sociologist, historian, novelist, and activist whose astounding career spanned the nation's history from Reconstruction to the civil rights movement. Born in Massachusetts and educated at Fisk, Harvard, and the University of Berlin, Du Bois penned his epochal masterpiece, The Souls of Black Folk, in 1903. It remains his most studied and popular work; its insights into Negro life at the turn of the 20th century still ring true.

With a dash of the Victorian and Enlightenment influences that peppered his impassioned yet formal prose, the book's largely autobiographical chapters take the reader through the momentous and moody maze of Afro-American life after the Emancipation Proclamation: from poverty, the neoslavery of the sharecropper, illiteracy, miseducation, and lynching, to the heights of humanity reached by the spiritual "sorrow songs" that birthed gospel and the blues. The most memorable passages are contained in "On Booker T. Washington and Others," where Du Bois criticizes his famous contemporary's rejection of higher education and accommodationist stance toward white racism: "Mr. Washington's programme practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro races," he writes, further complaining that Washington's thinking "withdraws many of the high demands of Negroes as men and American citizens." The capstone of The Souls of Black Folk, though, is Du Bois' haunting, eloquent description of the concept of the black psyche's "double consciousness," which he described as "a peculiar sensation.... One ever feels this twoness--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder." Thanks to W.E.B. Du Bois' commitment and foresight--and the intellectual excellence expressed in this timeless literary gem--black Americans can today look in the mirror and rejoice in their beautiful black, brown, and beige reflections. --Eugene Holley Jr.


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