The W.E.B. Du Bois Reading List

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 3:57pm

The W.E.B. Du Bois Reading List

In 1923 W.E.B. Du Bois typed this list of books. We don't have any clue as to what the list describes, it might be a list of favorites, or it might be a to-read list, or a list of recommendations for a friend. In any case, it's a window into the mind of a terrific writer, through the books he loved.

1. Shakespeare's Hamlet
2. Knight's History of England
3. Dumas' Three Musketeers
4. The Old Testament
5. Scott's lady of the Lake
6. Dickens' David Copperfield
7. Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin
8. Dunbar's Poems
9. Homer's Illiad
10. Goethe's Faust


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Mariah Helgeson

is a digital editor at On Being. She earned a degree in International Affairs with concentrations in the Middle East and Conflict Resolution from George Washington University. She grew up in Minnesota and was a program associate at the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network. When she’s not submerged in a good book she might be found laughing with her teenage sisters or playing chamber music.

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must share w/ Ed

Journeys and heroes, searches and battles - richness for anyone who reads these.

In 1987 I left the Benton Harbor/Saint Joseph area of Michigan and headed to Fisk University to complete 2 years of premedical course work. I chose Fisk because there is an archive of works by DuBois there and I wanted to learn about him. The challenge of my premed preparation was more than I anticipated, including the need to work 2 jobs or more at times, so I did not see much of the archive. My desire to learn about this genius has not abated and at the end of 2015 I purposed again to start learning about him. I am reading the book, The Scholar Denied by Aldon D. Morris, a book about the role DuBois played in developing the field of Sociology.
I am haunted by his courage and humbled by his wisdom.
That a fellow Trinidadian is similarly taken by him helps to reinforce my determination.
Thanks for today's broadcast. Your handling of the subject was outstanding on several levels. I am curious to know what inspired you to produce this piece and what led you to have a conversation with Dr Angelou about DuBois.