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The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq [Paperback]

Derek Gregory
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £25.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Jun 2004
In this powerful and passionate critique of the ′war on terror′ in Afghanistan and its extensions into Palestine and Iraq, Derek Gregory traces the long history of British and American involvements in the Middle East and shows how colonial power continues to cast long shadows over our own present. Argues the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 activated a series of political and cultural responses that were profoundly colonial in nature. The first analysis of the “war on terror” to connect events in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq. Traces the connections between geopolitics and the lives of ordinary people. Richly illustrated and packed with empirical detail.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (4 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577180909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577180906
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 15.3 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 201,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

“This is a great book. ′Gregory has written a book entwining global geography with social danger. The Colonial Present takes us through the contemporary wars in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq as connected projects of imperial ambition... The Colonial Present is a refreshingly angry book, with all the geographical and historical scholarship to buttress its indictment of American, Israeli and British behavior around the world. It is exquisitely written... This book′s screaming truths are must–read heresy." Neil Smith, Los Angeles Times <!––end––> "An impassioned plea by one of the world’s most eminent geographers to displace the distorted imaginative geographies that have so corrupted our representations of the Islamic world with a geographical imagination that enlarges and enhances our understandings. The long historical geography of the colonial encounter in the Middle East is here laid bare in all its twisted detail in order to comprehend the fractures underpinning contemporary political impasses in Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The Colonial Present is a ‘must read’ for all those concerned for peace and justice in our time.” David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism "The originality and profundity of Derek Gregory′s The Colonial Present puts it at the top of my list." Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton; author most recently of The Great Terror War (2003) “Brilliantly condenses the multiple geographies of colonialism ... so that their contemporary entanglements with the flexings of modern imperial power crackle with intensity. Using September 11 2001 as a political fulcrum, Gregory traces the searing effects of fluid but durable cartographies of violence in the intersecting wars in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq.” Cindi Katz, Graduate Centre, City University of New York “Powerfully and persuasively argued. Passionately written. A daring, brilliant analysis … Quite simply the most significant book written by a geographer in some time.” Allan Pred, University of California , Berkeley “ The Colonial Present marshals concepts of imaginative geography and insight from the spatialisation of cultural and social theory developed in the past thirty years … An impassioned but theoretically rich critique of the ‘war on terror’ and the wider Zeitgeist that it shapes and embodies … Crucially, the book is a compelling critique of and American Empire … This is a significant book … Vintage Gregory again; enticing and provoking his audience … There is no doubting that The Colonial Present sets both standards and agendas.” Environment and Planning D "The Colonial Present is an important and politiclly engaged book." Area

From the Back Cover

In this powerful and passionate critique of the “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq, Derek Gregory traces the long history of British and American involvements in the Middle East. He argues that the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 activated a series of political and cultural responses that mapped a profoundly colonial perimeter of power. The Colonial Present traces the connections between political, military, and economic power – the grand strategies of geopolitics – and the spatial stories told by the lives of ordinary people. It also shows the intimate connections between events in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq. Packed with empirical detail, and shot through with arresting arguments, The Colonial Present is indispensable reading for anyone seeking to understand a world riven by a war on terror that is also a war of terror.

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THE French philosopher Michel Foucault once explained that his interest in what he called "the order of things" had its origins in a passage from an essay by the Argentinian novelist Jorge Luis Borges. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
In 'The colonial present' Gregory, A Professor of Geography in British Columbia, Canada, evaluates the 'new' colonialism, largely exerted by the USA, with the willing assistance of the UK,and abetted by Israel, that has led to the brutal situations in Afghanistan, Palestine and Iraq. He sees how these colonial powers have maintained the old 'them' and 'us' evaluations of the colonised people; the West exerting a benign and 'civilising' influence over the savages; the West as more valuable than the colonised, thus, for example, Iraqi dead were not counted, were of no account. He reminds us of the facts on the ground, rather than the distorted propaganda the West was fed by the USA, UK and Israel. He does not ignore, in all this, the violence that the colonised also showed not only to towards the colonisers, but to each other.
This is an honest account, reminding us of what it was and still is like for the colonisers and colonised, but his own strong feelings show through the account. The West has learned nothing thus far. Perhaps if more people read this book, a little more learning leading to a little more humility may be achieved.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for Geography student 1 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Apparently (my Son informs me) this is an amazing book. He has read it and is now using it as reference for essays.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book 11 Feb 2013
By Raph
Format:Paperback
I read the book as part of my Geography degree in Oxford. An incredibly well written book that mixes history, geography and philosophy in an incredibly shocking and interesting account of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. A very much needed deconstruction of Western discourses on such events for us to start viewing the world with a slightly less skewed perspective. Very accessible, yet intellectually challenging. I strongly recommend to absolutely everyone.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 6 Nov 2006
By S. May - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Gregory does a great job of connecting geographical concepts to recent conflicts in the Middle East, and while it is academically geared, The Colonial Present is very accessible for the average reader. While I don't necessarily agree with his argument on Israel, he is very convincing. A must read for anyone interested in the Middle East or geography; really every American should read this.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read 25 Feb 2010
By Ron Holiday - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gregory's powerful and sobering critique of U.S. policy in Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, and Iraq is a brutally accurate and important analysis. For any American reader molded by the jingoistic mainstream media of the U.S., The Colonial Present undoubtedly comes as a harsh reality shock. Gregory slices right through the righteous façade of policy makers who claim to go to war in the Middle East for the sake of freedom and democracy. More importantly, he exposes the unjust policies of colonialism that have generated in the past - and continue to generate today - Islamic anger toward the U.S. Understanding Gregory is essential to extinguishing the `war on terror' at its roots and establishing peaceful relations with the Middle East. For this reason The Colonial Present is "a `must read' for all those concerned for peace and justice in our time" (David Harvey on the cover of The Colonial Present).
5.0 out of 5 stars The topic is excellent the book quality is poor 31 July 2013
By Zephyr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book by author Derek Gregory. Brilliant. But I am disappointed in Blackwell Publishing for releasing such a low quality print. I am not sure if it is just the issues available on amazon but the print is very light and the photos are poor quality. Even the resolution of the photo on the cover is low. It is bothering how I read the book because it is hard to ignore gray light print and fuzzy photos -- it is a cheap print on demand production. Shame on Blackwell Publishing for charging so much and for presenting such brilliant words and thoughts in such cheap production.
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