The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History

By W. E. B. Du Bois | Go to book overview

CHAPTER I
THE COLLAPSE OF EUROPE

This is a consideration of the nature of the calam-
ity which has overtaken human civilization
.

WE ARE face to face with the greatest tragedy that has ever overtaken the world. The collapse of Europe is to us the more astounding because of the boundless faith which we have had in European civilization. We have long believed without argument or reflection that the cultural status of the people of Europe and of North America represented not only the best civilization which the world had ever known, but also a goal of human effort destined to go on from triumph to triumph until the perfect accomplishment was reached. Our present nervous breakdown, nameless fear, and often despair, comes from the sudden facing of this faith with calamity.

In such a case, what we need above all is calm appraisal of the situation, the application of cold common sense. What in reality is the nature of the catastrophe? To what pattern of human culture does it apply? And, finally, why did it happen? In this search for reasons we must seek not simply current facts or facts within the memory of living men, but we must also, and especially in this case, seek lessons from history. It is perhaps the greatest indictment that can be brought against history as a science and against its teachers that we are usually indisposed

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The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Chapter I - The Collapse of Europe 1
  • Chapter II - The White Masters of the World 16
  • Chapter III - The Rape of Africa 44
  • Chapter IV - The Peopling of Africa 81
  • Chapter V - Egypt 98
  • Chapter VI - The Land of the Burnt Faces 115
  • Chapter VII - Atlantis 148
  • Chapter VIII - Central Africa and the March of the Bantu 164
  • Chapter IX - Asia in Africa 176
  • Chapter X - The Black Sudan 201
  • Chapter XI - Andromeda 226
  • The Message 261
  • Index 263
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