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Posted February 12, 2003
There are other books on postcolonialism, but this one stands head and shoulders above them. Unlike other postcolonial writers, Young does not treat postcolonialism as one long ideological debate. All the ones I've read tend to focus on the ideas of Fanon, Said, Spivak, Bhabha while ignoring the social movements and individuals whose struggles against colonialism make the discussion possible. Actually, Fanon is the exception here, but that only proves the rule. Young traces the rise of anticolonial movements and ideologies and their development into postcolonialism. As Young shows, the anticolonialists of the early 20th century didn't simply provide a starting point for later thinkers, but took positions which are still influential today. The Comintern. Young is the only author I've seen who even broaches the subject. He does and excellent job portraying the Comintern's attempt to develop a coherent policy towards anticolonial struggles without glossing over the contradictions. Young also expands his scope to include those not ususally discussed in studies of postcolonialism: Mariartegui, Cabral,Cesaire, even James Connolly. My only disagreement is with his assessment of Gandhi. Young puts forth a creative interpretation of Gandhi's tactics and their effects, particularly in destabilizing meanings. I, however, disagree with the idea that such tactics led to the liberation of India, but that's a whole other discussion. Overall, this is an excellent introduction to the topic which covers far more ground than any other book in the field.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.