Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World

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Overview

Here, from a brilliant young writer, is a paradigm-shifting history of both a utopian concept and global movement—the idea of the Third World. The Darker Nations traces the intellectual origins and the political history of the twentieth century attempt to knit together the world’s impoverished countries in opposition to the United States and Soviet spheres of influence in the decades following World War II.

Spanning every continent of the global South, Vijay Prashad’s fascinating narrative takes us from the birth of postcolonial nations after World War II to the downfall and corruption of nationalist regimes. A breakthrough book of cutting-edge scholarship, it includes vivid portraits of Third World giants like India’s Nehru, Egypt’s Nasser, and Indonesia’s Sukarno—as well as scores of extraordinary but now-forgotten intellectuals, artists, and freedom fighters. The Darker Nations restores to memory the vibrant though flawed idea of the Third World, whose demise, Prashad ultimately argues, has produced a much impoverished international political arena.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Scholarly but accessible, this history of Third World intellectual thought and politics captures the shared ideals, institutions and strategies that have united the Latin American countries and the new Asian and African states that have stood outside U.S. and Soviet spheres of influence since WWII. This Third World project did more than steer a neutral course between the nuclear-armed contenders of the Cold War era, claims Prashad (The Karma of Brown Folk). Anticolonial nationalism was also the basis for an alternative world order premised on peace, autonomy and cooperation. But Third World unity was also fragile. The optimism of newly independent nation-states that shaped the United Nations into their principal global platform gave way after the 1960s to frustration, conflict, compromised sovereignty and diminishing expectations. Prashad reveals the close interrelations among such obstacles as the persistence of old social hierarchies, the mobilization of religious views and reinvented tribalism, and punishing debt burdens designed to maintain Western hegemony over a "developing" world. Indeed, he argues, "cultural nationalism" easily becomes "the Trojan-horse of IMF-driven globalization." While the subtitle is misleading-Prashad necessarily concentrates on towering figures like India's Nehru, Indonesia's Sukarno and Egypt's Nasser-the book offers a vital assertion of an alternative future, grounded in an anti-imperial vision. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595583420
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 3/31/2008
  • Series: New Press People's History Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 364
  • Sales rank: 368,629
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Professor of South Asian History and the director of international studies at Trinity College, Connecticut. He is the author of The Karma of Brown Folk and Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting, among other books. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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Table of Contents

Series Preface   Howard Zinn     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     xv
Quest
Paris: a concept conjured     3
Brussels: the 1928 League against Imperialism     16
Bandung: the 1955 Afro-Asian Conference     31
Cairo: the 1961 Afro-Asian Women's Conference     51
Buenos Aires: imagining an economy     62
Tehran: cultivating an imagination     75
Belgrade: the 1961 Non-Aligned Movement Conference     95
Havana: the 1966 Tricontinental Conference     105
Pitfalls
Algiers: the perils of an authoritarian state     119
La Paz: released from the barracks     134
Bali: death of the Communists     151
Tawang: war most foul     165
Caracas: oil, the devil's excrement     176
Arusha: socialism in a hurry     191
Assassinations
New Delhi: the obituary of the Third World     207
Kingston: IMF-led globalization     224
Singapore: the lure of the Asian Road     245
Mecca: when culture can be cruel     260
Conclusion     276
Notes     283
Index     349
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