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Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
"A masterpiece of rhetorical and discursive styles . . . a landmark text not just in terms of the thematic of African colonial and postcolonial realities, but more significantly, about the forms through which this thematic is to be methodologically refracted."--Ato Quayson, "African Studies Review
Text: English (translation) Original Language: French
i will begin by saying that Achille Mbembe is now my favorite author/theorist! it is really a shame that no one has reviewed this book yet! it is simply an amazing and absolutely necessary book to read for anyone who wants to consider themselves knowledgable of african politics, culture, economics or contemporary history.
there is so much of value in this book that i don't have the time to go into here so i will just say a few things. first, this book avoids (or really counters) the extremism, a-historicism, and reductionism of theoretical approaches that purport to know africa and/or africans and their politics and cultures. while accounting for the insights of various "post-" critiques, Mbembe does not allow their common ahistoricism to detract from the solid historical and material (not historical materialist or marxist) groundings present in all aspects of his research. similarly, Mbembe does not simply adopt western theoretical models (marxisms, postcolonial studies, ethnic studies, foulcauldian influences, deconstruction, etc.) and apply them willy-nilly to african nations (post-colonies). he grabs what is insightful from any relevant theory, lays the historical and contemporary groundings which allow any theoretical modeling to proceed, and then shows the distinctness of the african situations and how the theories that he does borrow from must be altered in order to have relevance to african postcolonies (he also shows how the simple application of these western theories and models actually produce greater problems when applied without first particularizing them to african situations). implicit in this endeavor is the creation of entirely new theories and models of power and their rationalities.Read more ›
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