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The Souls of Black Folk (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 27 Feb 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (27 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014018998X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140189988
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,641,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon 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 criticises 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 WEB 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

Review

" One hundred years after publication, there is in the entire body of social criticism still no more than a handful of meditations on the promise and failings of democracy in America to rival William Edward Burghardt Du Bois' s extraordinary collection of fourteen essays." --from the Introduction by David Levering Lewis --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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BETWEEN ME and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 10 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
I studied US History at university. Like mmost US history courses, we studied the slave trade and its repurcussions on society and we were encouraged to read DuBois although I never got around to it. I'm glad I picked up this book, which is essentially a group of stories and observations on life 'behind the veil'. I was reading and reading and taking it all in, and then I came to a paragraph in the last chapter asking the question 'would America be as it is today if it wasn't for the negro slave?'. I read this paragraph ten times at least. I have no answer for the questions it poses, but it really sums the book up. This is essential reading. I would heartily recommend it to anybody.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Dec 1999
Format: Paperback
Ive read it and re-read it and there still new facets to this book which I discover. Its a great literary book which deserves to be studied in school and discussed by children of all races.The author covers many of the topics and issues of his time and makes his views plain. the third chapter in which he gives his opinion of Booker Washington needs to be read through with a calm, clear mind. Its one of the most important essays ever written by an African american. This £1.90 edition is the best value edition going so you really have no excuses.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A on 6 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A must read for someone who is interested in Black and White relations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By damo on 11 Nov 2012
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Create a great foundation and quoted by many people involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.. very inspirational
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah-Jayne Wilson on 25 Sep 2013
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This must is a must have read for anyone interested in Black civil rights or studying it! Really really good!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marricke Gane on 28 July 2014
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This book is so so so brilliant - Only God knows why I hadn't read it earlier. Have even ordered copies for friends! An excellent book.
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By ayeaye on 20 Jun 2014
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SHOULD BE READ BY ALL FOR FURTHER KNOWLEDGE AND BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF A NATION OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN DESTROYED FROM THE ROOTS AND ROBBED OF THEIR HERITAGE AND ANCESTRAL KNOWLEDGE AND HISTORY BY A WIDE VARIETY OF INVADERS WHO SEEKED TO STEAL RAPE AND DESTROY A PEOPLE AND STILL ARE TO THIS VERY DAY.
PLANT THE SEED AND WATCH IT GROW.
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