Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics in the Black Literary Imagination (Hardback)
  • Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics in the Black Literary Imagination (Hardback)
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Race and the Totalitarian Century: Geopolitics in the Black Literary Imagination (Hardback)

(author)
£32.95
Hardback 410 Pages / Published: 04/10/2016
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Vaughn Rasberry turns to black culture and politics for an alternative history of the totalitarian century. He shows how black writers reimagined the standard anti-fascist, anti-communist narrative through the lens of racial injustice, with the U.S. as a tyrannical force in the Third World but also an agent of Asian and African independence.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674971080
Number of pages: 410
Weight: 816 g
Dimensions: 156 x 235 x 36 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Vaughn Rasberry's Race and the Totalitarian Century is a powerful meditation that reveals the complexity and nuance of the African American diasporic literary imagination. This is no ordinary re-reading of classics, nor is it a slight gesture toward a transnational theory of race, writing, and politics. It is instead a close reading that manifests itself in a theoretically sophisticated analysis of race literature's relationships to Cold War totalitarianism. With this book, Rasberry introduces himself as part of the new generation of critical theorists who are unapologetically broadening the scope, reach, and relevance of the African American literary canon.--Jonathan Holloway, Yale University
Vaughn Rasberry has written one of the most important books in diaspora studies in a generation. Race and the Totalitarian Century is a riveting and entirely new intellectual history of the Black twentieth century. This book matters at the most basic level--the lived experience of the struggle for freedom.--Bill V. Mullen, American Studies, Purdue University
Capacious, ambitious, and meticulously researched...Rasberry expands the contours of the black geopolitical imagination to include not only Africa and its diaspora but Russia, the Middle East, and Asia as well. In this way, Race and the Totalitarian Century illuminates under-attended-to geographies of black internationalist thought at mid-century and--by foregrounding the life and work of Shirley Graham--makes a significant contribution to black women's intellectual history as well...Race and the Totalitarian Century resonates with and provides important insights for our current geopolitical moment, particularly the rise of Islamophobia, white nationalism, and the ways in which the condition of blackness has always necessitated a moving within and against the nation-state to imagine alternative and more just futures.--Jarvis C. McInnis"Public Books" (11/15/2017)
Masterful...Race and the Totalitarian Century paints a nuanced, sympathetic, but not uncritical picture of this rich midcentury African-American and Third World literary tradition. Rasberry teases out writers' complicated political views with clarity and verve, taking care to examine the contradictions and dangers of those views just as much as their promise. In doing so, he reconstructs a vital set of ideas and debates to fill in an important piece of the puzzle of 20th-century American thought. Above all, he offers a provocative account of the political and imaginative value of literature as a way to envision alternative futures in a nation both entangled in global conflict and roiled by domestic protests against racial violence...Race and the Totalitarian Century is such an important book because it adds crucial dimensions to our picture of that midcentury period that feels eerily relevant today. Throughout the presidential election and in its wake, critics and historians have felt increasingly moved to evaluate the totalitarian tenor of our times...What's missing from this conversation, which draws heavily on the ideas of European migr s like Hannah Arendt and Theodor Adorno, is the vibrant homegrown critique of totalitarianism that emerged in midcentury African-American literary and print culture, from Du Bois to Langston Hughes to Ann Petry to Gwendolyn Brooks. These writers' unique perspectives on racial domination and totalitarian rule deserve to play a central role in our political thinking today, in both the academic and the public spheres. With Race and the Totalitarian Century, Rasberry brings their voices to the fore. We would do well to listen.--Andrew Lanham"Los Angeles Review of Books" (03/26/2017)

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