Between Camps: Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race

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9780140252781: Between Camps: Nations, Cultures and the Allure of Race

Can we imagine a world without race? In this controversial and fearless book, Paul Gilroy reveals that in the 21st century ethnic politics and anti-racist laws have not created an equal society. Racial hierarchies still exist, fascism is creeping back into Europe, and popular culture perpetuates a "commodity of blackness" with idealized, sexualized images of black athletes and musicians. We are still entrenched in camps - national, racial and cultural. "Between Camps" argues that we must break free from "all" ideas of racial purity and national identity, first by confronting the bloodstained histories of colonialism, slavery, fascism and genocide, and then by looking forward to claim a shared future beyond the colour line, embracing true planetary humanism. Drawing from a dazzling range of sources - Primo Levi, Nazi film-maker Leni Riefenstahl, Immanuel Kant, Stpehen Lawrence, Bob Marley and rap start Tupac Shakur and Snoop Doggy Dogg - Paul Gilroy creates a compelling vision of the future.

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"The problem of the 20th century is the problem of the colour-line," wrote African-American intellectual, W.E.B Dubois in his seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk, in 1900. The problem of the 21st century, argues Paul Gilroy in his latest book, Between Camps, will be to develop a conceptual framework which will free us from the constraints of the colour-line. Between Camps is a development from, rather than a culmination of, Gilroy's earlier works such as There Ain't No Black in the Union Jack or The Black Atlantic.

As such the book represents a bold attempt to move away from the limitations of "race thinking" and towards embracing a more utopian and humanistic approach to understanding the world around us. To illustrate his case he draws on a wide range of references from Bob Marley to Primo Levi and from the liberation of the concentration camps to love affairs on the Star Ship Enterprise.

But while his reference points are accessible his writing style is not. This book is not for the faint-hearted or those with a casual interest in issues relating to race. Gilroy, a professor of African-American studies and sociology at Yale in America, delivers the dense prose of an academic treatise rather than a popular polemic.

But for those willing to persevere the content is worth it. Gilroy uses every intellectual weapon at his disposal, from developments in bio-genetics to the mythology surrounding black people and sport, to decouple "race-thinking" as an adequate response to the problems of our age and adopt, instead, a moral vision of "planetary humanism".--Gary Younge

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Gilroy, Paul
Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2001)
ISBN 10: 0140252789 ISBN 13: 9780140252781
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110140252789

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