Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time
When first published in 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk struck like a thunderclap, quickly establishing itself as a work that wholly redefined the history of the black experience in America, introducing the now famous "problem of the color line." In decades since, its stature has only grown, and today it ranks as one of the most influential and resonant works in the history of American thought.
This centennial edition contains a landmark Introduction by historian David Levering Lewis that brilliantly demonstrates how The Souls of Black Folk remains indispensable not only to an understanding of the history of race and democracy in America but to considerations of the future of racial and cultural comity in the twenty-first century.
About the Author
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was the cofounder of the NAACP. He was educated at the University of Berlin and Harvard University, and he was the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard. He taught at Wilberforce University in Ohio, the University of Pennsylvania, and Clark Atlanta University (where he established the department of social work). He is the author of numerous writings, including Worlds of Color; Africa in Battle against Colonialism, Racialism, Imperialism; and In Battle for Peace.
David Levering Lewis is a University Professor at New York University. Both volumes of his biography of W. E. B. Du Bois received the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in New York City.
“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