Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race
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In this provocative book, now reissued with a new introduction, Paul Gilroy contends that race-thinking has distorted the finest promises of modern democracy. He compels us to see that fascism was the principal political innovation of the twentieth century - and that its power to seduce did not die in a bunker in Berlin.
Between Camps addresses questions such as:
* Why do we still divide humanity into different identity groups based on skin colour?
* Did all the good done by the Civil Rights Movement and the decolonization of the Third World have such little lasting effect?
Gilroy examines the ways in which media and commodity culture have become pre-eminent in our lives in the years since the 1960s and especially in the 1980s with the rise of hip-hop and other militancies. With this trend, he contends, much that was valuable about black culture has been sacrificed in the service of corporate interests and new forms of cultural expression tied to visual technologies. He argues that the triumph of the image spells death to politics and reduces people to mere symbols.
At its heart, Between Camps is a Utopian project calling for the renunciation of race. Gilroy champions a new humanism, global and cosmopolitan, and he offers a new political language and a new moral vision for what was once called 'anti-racism'.
Paul Gilroy is a leading figure in international cultural studies. He is Chair of the Department of African-American Studies at Yale. Previously he was Professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University. His book There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack is now a Routledge classic.
'Paul Gilroy is one of the most incisive thinkers of his generation' - Brian Cheyette, The Independent
'Its scope, its unfashionable commitment to 'planetary humanism', and its moral seriousness all make [Between Camps] an unusual and valuable work of cultural politics' - Sukhdev Sandhu, The Observer
'This fierce kick at complacency will give everyone a bruise to rub' - Iain Finlayson, The Times