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Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity Paperback – November 18, 2002

3.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In this brilliant exploration of the often surprising historical solidarities linking black and South Asian experiences, Prashad demolishes the conservative conceits of ethnic essentialism and so-called multiculturalism. In the usual dead zone of debate about identity politics, this little book is a refreshing oasis of original insight and unexpected affinity. -Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz and Magical Urbanism

"Finally! A book that just might bring an end to all the silly talk of 'identity politics.' Vijay Prashad's powerful, original essays reveal that neither brown skins nor cultural commonalities explain the long and dynamic history of Afro-Asian solidarity. Rather, the answer lay in dreams of emancipation, dreams borne of Empire but nourished in the imaginations of so-called colored people who had to learn to trust each other in the trenches. This is one complicated and uncompleted journey we all need to know about." -Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

About the Author

Vijay Prashad is director and associate professor of international studies at Trinity College and the author of The Karma of Brown Folk. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Series: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (November 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807050113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807050118
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is not a straightforward book by any means. Vijay Prashad has written a book that is by turns, illuminating, fascinating and maddening.

In many ways, reading this book is like one of those lively and entertaining conversations you have in British pubs with the local sagacious man: Prashad describes some tantalizing connections between Black and Asian liberation struggles and just as you think, "Aha, here comes the good bit", he does the authorly equivalent of popping off to the lavatory. And when he comes back, he has another bright idea to tell you about, and there's no sign at all of the first one.

In all fairness to Prashad, the tidbits he has to recount are pretty interesting. For example he notes that W.D. Fard, the inspiration behind Elijah Mohammed's bizarre origin myth for the Nation of Islam was actually a New Zealander (half South Asian and half Maori) who came across the US border with Canada as an illegal immigrant in 1913. He also talks briefly about the truly inspiring AJA leftist Yuri Kochiyama, who worked with Malcolm and cradled his head as he lay dying at the Roseland ballroom. But there's no follow through. We wonder in vain as to what the implications or lessons of these vignettes are but Prashad never tells us.

The most useful part of the book is the first half where Prashad presents a very useful theoretical analysis of the way race has been conceptualized and can be conceptualized in the future as a path to more effective and ongoing coalitions and hence to more effective social justice work.

Prashad distinguishes 4 different modes for thinking about race: colorblindness, primordialism, multiculturalism and what he calls polyculturalism.
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Format: Paperback
A good detailed overview of poly-culturalism in today's world. A hard read but good information if you stick with it.
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By A Customer on January 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
vijay prashad has written another stunner of a book - sweeping in its subject matter, fresh in its analysis, and fun to read. a must for anyone interested in the thorny questions of race in the 21st century.
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By A Customer on October 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is conceived and written in a sloppy manner. Prashad sets up straw men and then proceeds to demolish them, which may be fine to score debating points but is unhelpful in understanding contemporary society.
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By A Customer on December 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Vijay Prashad is untiring in his radical left analysis of Asian and African communities. But he doesn't make a sound case and the book doesn't deliver what it promises.
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