The Colonial Present: Afghanistan. Palestine. Iraq / Edition 1

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In this powerful and passionate critique of the "war on terror" in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq, Derek Gregory traces the long history of British and American involvements in the Middle East. He argues that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 activated a series of political and cultural responses that mapped a profoundly colonial perimeter of power. The Colonial Present traces the connections between political, military, and economic power -- the grand strategies of geopolitics -- and the spatial stories told by the lives of ordinary people. It also shows the intimate connections between events in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq. Packed with empirical detail, and shot through with arresting arguments, The Colonial Present is indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand a world riven by a war on terror that is also a war of terror.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a great book. 'Gregory has written a book entwining global geography with social danger. The Colonial Present takes us through the contemporary wars in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq as connected projects of imperial ambition... The Colonial Present is a refreshingly angry book, with all the geographical and historical scholarship to buttress its indictment of American, Israeli and British behavior around the world. It is exquisitely written... This book's screaming truths are must-read heresy."
Neil Smith, Los Angeles Times

"An impassioned plea by one of the world’s most eminent geographers to displace the distorted imaginative geographies that have so corrupted our representations of the Islamic world with a geographical imagination that enlarges and enhances our understandings. The long historical geography of the colonial encounter in the Middle East is here laid bare in all its twisted detail in order to comprehend the fractures underpinning contemporary political impasses in Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The Colonial Present is a ‘must read’ for all those concerned for peace and justice in our time.”
David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism

"The originality and profundity of Derek Gregory's The Colonial Present puts it at the top of my list."
Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton; author most recently of The Great Terror War (2003)

“Brilliantly condenses the multiple geographies of colonialism ... so that their contemporary entanglements with the flexings of modern imperial power crackle with intensity. Using September 11 2001 as a political fulcrum, Gregory traces the searing effects of fluid but durable cartographies of violence in the intersecting wars in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq.”
Cindi Katz, Graduate Centre, CityUniversity of New York

“Powerfully and persuasively argued. Passionately written. A daring, brilliant analysis … Quite simply the most significant book written by a geographer in some time.”
Allan Pred, University of California, Berkeley

The Colonial Present marshals concepts of imaginative geography and insight from the spatialisation of cultural and social theory developed in the past thirty years … An impassioned but theoretically rich critique of the ‘war on terror’ and the wider Zeitgeist that it shapes and embodies … Crucially, the book is a compelling critique of and American Empire … This is a significant book … Vintage Gregory again; enticing and provoking his audience … There is no doubting that The Colonial Present sets both standards and agendas.”
Environment and Planning D

"The Colonial Present is an important and politiclly engaged book."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577180906
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/9/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Derek Gregory is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures.



Part 1: The Colonial Present:.

1.1 Foucault’s Laughter.

1.2 The Present Tense.

Part 2: Architectures of Enmity:.

2.1 Imaginative Geographies.

2.2 “Why do they hate us?”.

2.3 September 11.

Part 3: The Land Where Red Tulips Grew:.

3.1 Great Games.

3.2 Uncivil Wars and Transnational Terrorism.

3.3 The Sorcerer’s Apprentices.

Part 4 Civilization and Barbarism:.

4.1 The Visible and the Invisible.

4.2 Territorialization, Targets, and Technoculture.

4.3 Deadly Messengers.

4.4 Spaces of the Exception.

4.5 Deconstructions.

Part 5 Barbed Boundaries:.

5.1 America’s Israel.

5.2 Diaspora, Dispossession, and Disaster.

5.3 Occupation, Coercion, and Colonization.

5.4 Camp David and Goliath.

Part 6: Defiled Cities:.

6.1 Ground Zeros.

6.2 Besieging Cartographies.

6.3 Identities and Oppositions.

Part 7: The Tyranny of Strangers:.

7.1 “Not as conquerors or enemies…”.

7.2 Coups and Conflicts.

7.3 Desert Storms and Urban Nightmares.

Part 8: Boundless War:.

8.1 Black September.

8.2 Killing Grounds.

8.3 The Cutting-room War.

Part 9: Gravity’s Rainbows:.

9.1 Connective Dissonance.

9.2 The Colonial Present and Cultures of Travel.

9.3 Pandora’s Spaces.

Guide to Further Reading.


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