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Oh dear. The author cites a feature film, 'Rabbit Proof Fence', to make his point about the treatment of Aboriginals in Australia. What he has not done is check the facts behind the tale spun by the scriptwriters. Not one of the many, many books and articles about this event has been consulted. Instead a highly embellished, melodramatic, commercially-produced film is treated as equivalent to scrupulously accurate documentary history. It isn't. It also shows an obvious error in what is a useful, yet flawed introduction.

Make no mistake, as a summary of postcolonial theories current in European and American academia this book does the job well. It is useful in that sense.

However, the book's coverage of theorists who lived (or live) in colonial, neo-colonial and post-colonial nations is inadequate. Reading this book you would think that white people with academic jobs in Europe and America do most of the thinking. All ideas need to be validated by 'the center' (its worth checking The Reluctant Fundamentalist on this point). Working through this book, and having been born, raised and still living in a former colonial nation, there are moments as I read it when I am torn between frustration and anger.

Critical discussion of colonialism has been taking place outside Europe and America for hundreds of years, but it is neither explored nor acknowledged in this book. Why no discussion of cultural cringe? Why no discussion of cultural alienation? These conditions are a key part of experience in former colonial nations, yet the terms don't even appear in the book's index. I guess it goes to show the gap between theory and real life. The book might adopt the sympathetic posture of a reconstructed post-colonial, although like many texts on the subject it is paradoxically Euro-American Colonialist in outlook.
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on 9 February 2016
It is a good book to understand the aspect of colonialism and its effects in the world, a little dated as some of the information does not yet apply. An example would be where it states that America does not have an Afro-American as a president of which we know that has since changed. Else the content does help to bring some understanding and clarity. Read with an open mind and with a bearing on today's news that becomes yesterday's history,
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on 9 July 2015
I generally hate most VSI's as I think that they are too brief and often miss out crucial things as a result. This, however, is a fantastic introduction and includes lots of information about the field. For anyone about to take a module in Postcolonial literature and similar, this is a must read.
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on 21 April 2010
Excellent expose on post colonial theory in practice, but very short indeed. It does not cover all aspects of post colonialism, but it is very useful in understanding what this concept means, how to use it, and why we should use it. I am glad I bought it and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in this topic.
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on 2 May 2006
If you don't want to have any of your views challenged or at least put in question, then don't read this book. You can learn something new from this book: it tells you about different worlds, which are probably not your own. If you just want someone to tell you about the world you already know, and confirm what you already think, then there are many many other books around that do that. This book takes you on a journey of discovery around the earth, showing you what it looks like, how it feels, when the third world comes first, not last. It will be different, it may make you feel uncomfortable, you may feel that it is turning your world upside down, but its an amazing, positive and heartening human experience you will never forget.
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on 7 February 2006
Entirely useless for those who need a quick, encyclopedia-like idea of what this multivalent word actually means. For a reader looking for what the series promises - an introduction - it appears as a confusing hodge-podge of quotes from works of fiction, information about Algerian rai music which the author raves about like a teenager, all-too-familiar diatribes about pet causes of Attac and their ilk (evil western companies exploiting hapless Africans etc.). It drips with political correctness of a mind-numbingly simplistic sort, embraces the rallying cries of postcolonialism (as a political movement) without the slightest hint of distance or criticism or, indeed, without even as much as discussing the merits of the claims in question. This book is a pamphlet of the crudest sort, by no means a work of scholarship. For a solid and readable overview, I recommend Postcolonial Studies: The Key Concepts (Routledge Key Guides)
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on 8 January 2014
One of an excellent series that cuts to the chase to give an overview of an area of great importance. young is a brilliant writer who is able to bring to light even the dimmest of academic areas.
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on 27 February 2013
I teach postcolonialism and I recommend this to all my students. I'd like to recommend it to everyone, to be honest. It's really top class book.
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on 29 September 2015
Great book to introduce you to the topic.
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on 30 November 2014
This book is so far the best book I've ever bought, definitely buying the Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction by Robert young soon.
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