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Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity Hardcover – November 18, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (November 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807050105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807050101
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...takes on "primordialism" of Afrocentrists and Asian nationalists in a book that is unapologetically radical and alive to paradox. -- Village Voice, December 5th, 2001

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 Hartford, Connecticut.

More About the Author

Vijay Prashad is Professor of International Studies at Trinity College, where he holds the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History.

Prashad is the author of fourteen books, most recently Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK Press), which India's The Hindu called "a book that deserves to become essential reading, a canonical account of a world-historic chain of events," and Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today (New Press), which the Boston Globe called "required reading for anyone who wants to understand race, assimilation and patriotism."

His Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World (New Press, 2007) was chosen by the Asian American Writers' Workshop as the best nonfiction book of 2008, and it won the Muzaffar Ahmad Book Award for 2009. It is now available in French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Swedish, with editions in India and Pakistan and translations in Arabic, Mandarin and Turkish in process. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, wrote in Economic and Political Weekly, "This is a comprehensive, informative and rewarding book to read, and documents a critical part of our international politics and culture which is much misrepresented nowadays." Former Indian Foreign Minister K. Natwar Singh, writing in Tehelka, notes, "The book invites comparison to Edward Said's Orientalism. Vijay Prashad's passionate commitment, his intellectual brio, his literary style, are all immensely impressive." El Pais said of the Spanish edition, "Las naciones oscuras es un libro excepcionalmente documentado. Era obligado, dada la ambición del proyecto. Su documentación es tan buena que brilla."

Prashad is a columnist for Frontline (India) and a correspondent for Asia Times, an editor at Bol (Pakistan) and Himal (Nepal) and a writer for al-Akhbar (Lebanon) and Counterpunch (USA). He has been published in The Hindu (India), Egypt Independent (Egypt), Bidayat (Lebanon), Economic and Political Weekly (India), Third World Resurgence (Malaysia), Mail and Guardian (South Africa), and India Abroad (USA).

In December 2012, Verso Books will publish his The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South, which former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali calls "a contribution to the intellectual-cum-political emancipation of developing countries and their empowerment through greater self-reliance on their own intellectual and analytical resources."

For LeftWord books in Delhi, he edits a series called Dispatches. The first volume, Dispatches from Latin America, co-edited with Teo Ballvé appeared in 2006. The second volume, Dispatches from Pakistan, co-edited with Qalandar Bux Memon and Madiha R. Tahir, will appear in October 2012. The third volume, Dispatches from the Arab Revolt, co-edited with Paul Amar, will appear in December 2012. Two volumes, Dispatches from Africa and Dispatches from Europe, are currently in formation.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Chris Fung on April 8, 2006
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dana Bloede on September 8, 2009
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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9 of 15 people found the following review helpful 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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9 of 43 people found the following review helpful 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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10 of 69 people found the following review helpful 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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