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Dark Princess

3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  139 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
First published in 1903, this eloquent collection of essays exposed the magnitude of racism in our society. The book endures today as a classic document of American social and political history: a manifesto that has influenced generations with its transcendent vision for change.
Paperback, 344 pages
Published April 17th 1995 by University Press of Mississippi (first published January 1st 1974)
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Jun 23, 2008 Dominique rated it did not like it
I love the mind of W.E.B. with a fierceness I can't put into words. His work, his attempts, his striving...I can go on and on. But this is just terrible, terrible writing. Want proof?

" And he cried, 'Kautilya, darling!'
And she said, 'Matthew, my Man!'
'Your body is Beauty, and Beauty is your Soul, and Soul and Body spell Freedom to my tortured groping life!' he whispered."


That being said, if I had had zero expectations, I may have enjoyed the plot, however predictable it may be. I suggest,
Jun 03, 2007 eve rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: your enemies
The most mindblowing thing about this book was that Du Bois said it was his favorite thing he'd written. Why, Du Bois? Why?
Tairan Qiu
Dec 09, 2014 Tairan Qiu rated it it was ok
I did not dive into this book at all. I felt like I was just pulling myself through the pages. This is a story about an African American doctor falling in love with an Indian Princess. They went through ups and downs but the drive of love took them through the difficulties and struggles that the society brought them. In the end, it reveals that they will be expecting a baby soon, a baby that is mixed race. I don’t think the author did a good job on portraying the characters neither. They don’t s ...more
Matt Gunther
Oct 05, 2015 Matt Gunther rated it liked it
I can appreciate the intellectual value of reading this novel; I found it to be an interesting way of looking at Du Bois' "double-consciousness" on a global scale. I can even appreciate the wavering form as a means of depicting Matthew Towns' wavering view of romantic idealism and soulless cynicism.

But seriously...Section III (The Chicago Politician) is a brutal read. As I said, I can appreciate what Du Bois was going for, but it really stops the novel dead in its tracks to a fault. Some of the
Melissa Conner
Feb 10, 2012 Melissa Conner rated it liked it
Known for his pompous, pretentious, and laborious writing style, W.E.B. DuBois was a writer in a league all his own. His work is often criticized as being controversial, proud, and sometimes over the top. Most of his writing focuses on the problem of “the color line” and the quest for racial justice. Perhaps his most popular and well-loved publication, Dark Princess, is a testimony to his favorite themes of race, sex, and radical politics.

In this political fairytale, heavy with propagandist over
Paisley Green
Nov 21, 2015 Paisley Green rated it liked it
I'm so torn in what to rate this book. The subtitle to this book is "A Romance," and I understand that one of the major bonds between Matthew and Kautilya is their commitment to oppressed people around the world. However, the middle of this book gets SO dragged down in Chicago politics and its intimate inner workings, but the important (and interesting) stuff is in the first and final chapters.
Douglas Tiegs
Apr 29, 2011 Douglas Tiegs rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This is a great book that is hard to follow at times. It touches on true aspects of the world at the times Du Bois lived. It follows a fictional character that is an African American that has to deal with the worldly view of Africans and the aspects that racism played on educated blacks in the 20th century. This is a great book that shows many of the aspects that blacks had to go through in early 20th century. It is a great book that needs to be read and understood that people must understand th ...more
Taylor Werner
Nov 21, 2012 Taylor Werner rated it it was ok
This book discusses African American oppression, but illuminates the beauty of the people, and introduces readers to the different races of the world. There are four sections to this novel, which show the progression of the characters and their love overtime. I did not particularly care for this book, but it does a good job of allowing the reader to feel the oppression of the characters, as well as the hope and achievement that they acquire at the end of the novel. This is an informational book, ...more
Mar 13, 2011 Jocelyn rated it really liked it
This is a book that is both under and overrated. If you are a fan of Du Bois it's a must read (simply because it is so different from his usual that it will definitely blow your mind.) If you've never read any Du Bois its important to read the introduction so you can place the text (otherwise I don't think it will go over that well.) It's a pretty melodramatic writing style which was intentional I think but definitely not the norm of what is expected from a figure like Du Bois or Black writers i ...more
May 13, 2011 Eric rated it it was amazing
Get ready for a rollercoaster ride! Part sociological novel, part romance, part internationalist political fantasy, Du Bois's "Dark Princess" will either be a book that you love or one that you hate. There are no two ways about it. Thinking about the novel's incoherence as a way of depicting a political period that was, in its multiplicity, incoherent seems a productive way to work through the book's more problematic parts. Also, Du Bois never wrote with so much erotic (and hysterical) energy as ...more
Mar 25, 2010 Dave rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
This isn't your high school English teacher's DuBois. I guess W.E.B. himself called this his "lusty" side, and I can see that. My favorite part of reading this novel was watcing DuBois trace the limits and problems within his own sociological theories. He builds upon and challenges Souls, and looks closely at the color line he made so famous. For that reason, the slightly boring, more didactic fourth section is growing on me, and I plan on going back and re-reading it several times.
Dec 09, 2007 Elsie rated it really liked it
This book made me cry at the airport. I really liked it. Makes Atlas Shrugged look like its bad mirror image. (How can the American railroad be a tool of social change? What secret society is going to change the world? Who are your heroes--workers or owners?)
Oakley Merideth
Mar 24, 2016 Oakley Merideth rated it did not like it
Shelves: fictions, garbage
Like Thomas Pynchon without the humor, style, or experimentation...just a bunch of silly bullshit and obscene oreintalism. Du Bois was a great leader, thinker, and writer but I suppose its best to stick to his non fiction.
Rachel Matsuoka
Feb 18, 2013 Rachel Matsuoka rated it really liked it
I love a revolutionary figure, and Dark Princess is a story about two. It is an interesting meditation on the existence of color lines in society and radicalism, and I love its message about international racial solidarity.
Apr 14, 2007 Bill rated it really liked it
The first chapter is a great impression of what a young-ish Du Bois thought of Berlin, where he had studied for two years in the 1890s.
Jan 27, 2008 stacia rated it really liked it
Melodramatic and didactic as it is, I kind of adore this book. How can you beat W.E.B.'s one attempt at a romance novel?
Aaron Goggans
Jun 03, 2007 Aaron Goggans rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
only one good chapter in the whole book
Feb 07, 2011 Amber rated it did not like it
Didn't get past page 30.
May 27, 2014 Danielle rated it liked it
Dominic Mitchell
Dominic Mitchell marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
Chelsea Dyreng
Chelsea Dyreng marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
Abby Seeskin
Abby Seeskin rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2016
Crow marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
Benevant Mathew
Benevant Mathew marked it as to-read
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Eman marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2016
Elliott Souder
Elliott Souder rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2016
Mazzie marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2016
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Olivia Jackson marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
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Jun 21, 2016
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In 1868, W.E.B. Du Bois (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, pronounced 'doo-boyz') was born in Massachusetts. He attended Fisk College in Nashville, then earned his BA in 1890 and his MS in 1891 from Harvard. Du Bois studied at the University of Berlin, then earned his doctorate in history from Harvard in 1894. He taught economics and history at Atlanta University from 1897-1910. The Souls of Black ...more
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