- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: The New Press; Reprint edition (16 May 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1595583424
- ISBN-13: 978-1595583420
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.5 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,92,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (A New Press People's History) Paperback – 16 May 2008
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Description for The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (A New Press People's
The first comprehensive political history of the third world as concept and as project. --Immanuel Wallerstein
Elegiac, combative, revisionist, incisive-and recalling the vivid thoughts and words of scores of extraordinary intellectuals, artists, and freedom fighters-The Darker Nations is destined to become a classic.
A landmark work from a brilliant young scholar, The Darker Nations chronicles the rise and fall of the Third World. Its hardcover publication was hailed by renowned scholar Immanuel Wallerstein as "essential background for rethinking history." Publishers Weekly recognized its relevance for global activists today, noting its "vital assertion of an alternative future, grounded in an anti-imperialist vision."
The Darker Nations has been named a finalist for the 11th Annual Asian American Literary Awards. --Ken Chen, Executive Director,
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In any case, the book is basically divided into three parts. The first section, 'Quest', considers some themes (economics, nationalism, gender, etc) through the optic of major conferences. The second, 'pitfalls', highlights places that epitomize themes like military coups and socialism from above. The third section, 'Assassinations' describes the demise of the third world as a subject as a result of neoliberalism, the IMF, the rise of East Asia, and religious fundamentalism. In all sections, Prashad tends to move between the focus of the chapter and historical geographical events that are far afield and occur before and after the moment in question. The effect can be a little vertiginous. Certainly he deserves credit for attempting such an expansive work, and his knowledge about the time period appears to be vast.
However, I found his organization a little too tidy, and his political perspective restricted by his focus on state leaders. Particularly since he regards the UN as something of an instrument for third world advancement (an interesting contrast with Perry Anderson, who claims its just a front for the US), why does he disregard the international conferences held under its auspices in the last fifteen years regarding the environment, women, and racism? Although attended by people from countries in the North as well as the South, at these forums it is probably fair to say that Southern perspectives tended to prevail and throw the North on the defensive. And why is not a word breathed about the World Social Forum? Is it because he regards NGOs (also almost completely absent from his book) as instruments of Northern domination, or because he regards social movements as insignificant compared to states? The absence of any discussion of these issues seems almost sectarian, as does his fairly crude analysis of religion (focused on Saudi-backed Wahhabi Islam--the Iranian revolution is practically unmentioned). Finally, he doesn't seem to have noticed, as have some other writers, that a number of third world states have begun to recover from neoliberalism and seem to be gradually reasserting themselves.