W.E.B. Du Bois was the foremost black intellectual of his time. The Souls of Black Folk (1903), his most influential work, is a collection of fourteen beautifully written essays, by turns lyrical, historical, and autobiographical. Here, Du Bois records the cruelties of racism, celebrates the strength and pride of black America, and explores the paradoxical "double-consciousness" of African-American life. "The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line," he writes, prophesying the struggle for freedom that became his life's work.
For the first time, the authoritative editions of works by major American novelists, poets, scholars, and essayists collected in the hardcover volumes of The Library of America are being published singly in a series of handsome and durable paperback books. A distinguished author has contributed an introduction for each volume, which also includes a detailed chronology of the author's life and career, an essay on the choice of the text, and notes.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963), writer, civil rights activist, scholar, and editor, is one of the most significant intellectuals in American history. A founding member of the NAACP, editor for many years of The Crisis and three other journals, and author of seventeen books, his writings, speeches, and public debates brought fundamental changes to American race relations.
David Levering Lewis is Martin Luther King, Jr., University Professor in the department of history at Rutgers University. He won Pulitzer prizes for both volumes of his landmark biography of W.E.B. Du Bois, along with many other awards, including the Bancroft and Parkman prizes. He lives in Manhattan.
“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
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