Against Race: Imagining Political Culture Beyond the Color Line

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Harvard University Press, 2000 - Political Science - 406 pages
6 Reviews
After all the "progress" made since World War II in matters pertaining to race, why are we still conspiring to divide humanity into different identity groups based on skin color? Did all the good done by the Civil Rights Movement and the decolonization of the Third World have such little lasting effect?

In this provocative book 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. Aren't we in fact using the same devices the Nazis used in their movies and advertisements when we make spectacles of our identities and differences? Gilroy examines the ways in which media and commodity culture have become preeminent 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 wonderful 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, Against Race 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."

  

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Review: Against Race: Imagining Political Culture beyond the Color Line

User Review  - Tom - Goodreads

There are some insights in this large tome, but it's lack of clarity makes it disappointing. It's written in a ponderous style, post-modernist in some ways, tho not as impenetrable as a lot of pomo ... Read full review

Review: Against Race: Imagining Political Culture beyond the Color Line

User Review  - Chante - Goodreads

Gilroy and I don't have the best relationship. His language can be impenetrable and I wish he did a better job of historicizing in The Black Atlantic, but the outlining of "raceology" in Against Race ... Read full review

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Contents

The Crisis of Race and Raciology
11
Modernity and Infrahumanity
54
Identity Belonging and the Critique of Pure Sameness
97
FASCISM EMBODIMENT AND REVOLUTIONARY CONSERVATISM
135
Hitler Wore Khakis Icons Propoganda and Aesthetic Politics
137
After the Love Has Gone Biopolitics and the Decay of the Black Public Sphere
177
The Tyrannies of Unanimism
207
BLACK TO THE FUTURE
239
All About the Benjamins Multicultural BlacknessCorporate Commercial and Oppositional
241
Race Cosmopolitanism and Catastrophe
279
Third Stone from the Sun Planetary Humanism and Strategic Universalism
327
NOTES
359
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
391
INDEX
393
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Paul Gilroy holds the Anthony Giddens Professorship in Social Theory at the London School of Economics.

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