The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third \t\t World

Vijay Prashad, Author, Howard Zinn, Editor
Vijay Prashad, Author, Howard Zinn, Editor . New Press $25.95 (364p) ISBN 978-1-56584-785-9
Reviewed on: 12/11/2006
Release date: 01/01/2007
Paperback - 364 pages - 978-1-59558-342-0
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-282-64429-8
Paperback - 724 pages - 978-1-4587-8117-8
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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.)

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