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    Culture and Society 1780-1950
    by Raymond Williams
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (15 April, 1983)
    list price: $29.00 -- our price: $29.00
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A World in Transition
    Raymond Williams discusses how the idea of "culture" and "society"evolved in England when two forces (democracy, industrialism) were undermining traditional notions of both.Williams is a Marxist and it is clear that his analysis of Burke, Coleridge, Mill, Carlyle, Newman, Arnold etc... is directed by Marx's theory of class relationships. The book, therefore, is both an analysis and an argument.

    The analysis/argument is that democracy and industrialism broke down old relationships and initiated new ones.While this shift was occuring a new kind of writer was born: the cultural critic.The major theme of this book is the evolution of the word "culture" .Before the period in question (1780-1950) the word "culture" was used to describe art and literature but beginning with Burke and Coleridge the word begins to be used to refer to a "whole way of life". Coleridge makes the key distinction between "civilization" and "culture".Coleridge uses the word "civilization" to describe the "general progress of society" and he uses the word "culture" to express a standard of perfection independent of the progress of society that could be used "not merely to influence society but to judge it."Coleridge envisioned a class of men or "clerisy" whose sole task would be to tend to the cultivation of society.The great fear in the minds of nineteenth-century educated Englishman was that democracy would lead to a dumming down of public life and that what society really needed was some class of educated individuals(Coleridge) or some heroic individual (Carlyle) to insure the continued cultivation of society.
    Raymond Williams is writing from a working-class perspective but he is a working-class kid who also happened to attend Cambridge.Writing from this unique perspective allows him to identify with both the great cultural thinkers of the past and with the "masses" that they feared.Coleridge and Carlyle felt that the masses were incapable of governing themselves and contributing to the continued cultivation of society(a notion that continues to inform much of modern conservastism).Williams suggests that it is a mistake to think of men as "masses" and that for society to grow it must remain open, and that society must encourage individual effort from all segments of society while continuing to value and cultivate a collective way of life.Exactly how society is to do this is explained only in vague platitudes.

    The best and strongest part of the book is the early portion that examines the definition of "culture" as opposed to "society". The argument gets fuzzy around the time of Matthew Arnold who could not quite decide just what constitutes"culture".In the nineteenth-century "culture" is tied to religious tradition in the minds of Burke, Coleridge, Carlyle and Newman. Beginning with Arnold, however,cultural critics attempt to define "culture" without reference to religion. This proves to be difficult as "culture" describes not only all the best that has been thought but also refers to a body of values that have been passed down and religious institutions are just as powerful, if not moreso, than economic institutions.It is at this point when one begins to question the materialist approach to history.

    In his conclusion Williams discusses democracy as if it were the natural substitute for religion or even a new kind of religion. He is not altogether successful and for me the concluding chapters were much less satisfying as cultural history than were the early chapters. This does not take away from the exceptional clarity of those early chapters.

    The book is an excellent study of what it means to live in a world in transition and how difficult it is to properly define a "common culture" in a world that regularly undergoes cultural shifts.Society struggles on between two cultural ideologies; between the religious conservatives and the liberal-democrat reformers.In the best portion of Culture and Society Williams describes how J.S. Mill tried to find some way of melding the two ideologies into one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
    Williams examines the development of the English novel (and the language itself) as a means to socio-political criticism.The section on the Romantic Period is excellent, as are the sections on Eliot and Orwell. This isn't your typical "critical theory" work:Williams doesn'tuse the ridiculous theoretical schemes often found in the field. Also,while his analysis is ultimately radical left, Williams remains undogmaticand clear-headed throughout (also a rarity), attributable in part I thinkto his working class background (this is really one of the themes of thework itself - upper middle-class liberalism and "radicalism"versus working-class radicalism).

    Don't be put off by the claim thatthis is a "materialist analysis."Yes, he describes the creationof the author as the result of an economic/social process, but this isn'tthe main thrust of the work.

    If nothing else, read this book forWilliams's sensitivity to the origins and meanings of the"keywords" of the English language. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0231057016
    Sales Rank: 223413
    Subjects:  1. 19th century    2. 20th century    3. General    4. Great Britain    5. Intellectual life    6. Literary Criticism    7. Popular Culture - General    8. Sociology    9. Sociology - General   


    The Uses of Literacy (Classics in Communication and Mass Culture Series)
    by Richard Hoggart
    Paperback (01 August, 1997)
    list price: $24.95
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    Isbn: 0765804212
    Sales Rank: 497123
    Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Civilization    3. Education    4. Europe - Great Britain - General    5. Great Britain    6. History    7. History - General History    8. Language Arts & Disciplines    9. Literacy    10. Mass media    11. Popular culture    12. Working class   

    Making of the English Working Class
    by E.P. THOMPSON
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (12 February, 1966)
    list price: $25.00 -- our price: $15.75
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    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic in the Field of Social and Labor History
    Well, it took me darn near a month to finish this monster (800+ pages) of a book.Can't say I regret the experience, though.Truly , this is a masterpiece, both in terms of its substance and its approach.I could quite easily write more then a thousand words on this book, but hey, this is Amazon, right?

    Before I begin, I would like to state up front that I am not a historian or a graduate student of history.Please forgive me if my review contains incorrect statements.

    "The Making of the English Working Class" is precisely what its (awkward) title describes: a history of the developments leading to the emergence of the modern industrial working class in England (and Scotland, sort of.Wales and Ireland are excluded, although Irish immigrants living in England to figure in some parts of the book).The time period covered is roughly the 1790's to the 1840's.Thompson starts with a description of "Dissent", discusses the influence of the French Revolution on that tradition (Dissent), spends a good chunk of the book describing the effect of the industrial revolution on the lives and lifestyles of the workers in industrial England, and then spends an equal amount of time describing the reaction of the workers and their leaders to this adjustment in circumstances.

    Along the way, Thompson takes a hatchet to historians on the left, right, and center.His section on the change in circumstances of the workers in England is most critical of writers like F.A. Hayek, i.e. those writers who try to say that the industrial revolution "wasn't that bad" or "wasn't bad at all" for the workers.He devotes a good part of Part II of the book to attacking the methods of statistical or economic history.His preference is to use documentary evidence of the time.In this way, the book (published in the 60's) is a forerunner of historical "postmodernism"(Oh, please forgive me for the term), where authors abandon "objective" evidence (economic statistics) in favor of "subjective" evidence (pamphlets, letters and newspapers).

    I guess that's hardly a revolutinary arguement now-a-day, but back then, I can hardly imagine.
    His section on the reaction of workers to the industrial revolution is rather more critical to historians of the left and center, who sought to discount the violence associated with the Luddite movement as somehow unrepresentative of the working class movement in England.Thompson's revisionist history of the Luddite movement is a tour de force.Really, it's breathtaking.

    In my opinion, the book kind of loses steam after that section. Thompson has some harsh words for the London based "leaders" of the workers movement, and I felt his discussion of Owenism left too much to the readers imagination.I don't suppose this book was meant for someone with only a loose grounding in English history, but none the less, that's what I have, so I'm just stuck.

    To the extent that I have anything critical to say about this book, it's that Thompson at times presupposes a graduate level education in English history.I haven't read AJP Taylor or Hayek or any of the other authors Thompson attacks.IN the end, though, I felt like it didn't hurt my enjoyment of this book.I would highly recommend it, although you should set aside a good chunk of time to make your way from beginning to end.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More on the Peter Smith edition of E.P. Thompson
    One of America's best small independent publishing houses is---Peter Smith of Gloucester, Massachusetts! The individual's name is also the name of the company, which explains the incorrect ID by the earlier reviewer.

    For many years Peter Smith (man & company) has provided reprints of essential scholarly and other works in affordable hardcover editions. The only way to continue this helpful service is by keeping production costs low, which occasionally leads to the regrettable results detailed below. The resulting profit margins are too low to interest the goliaths of the book world, but scholars and other customers (not to mention libraries with tight acquisition budgets) are profoundly grateful for what is perhaps as much a public service as a business decision. Why not order their catalog and give 'em some much-needed business? You'll probably spot other worthwhile classics....For instance, my library includes James Malin, "Grassland of North America" and Wesley Frank Craven, "Soil Exhaustion as a Factor in the Agricultural History of Virginia & Maryland," two fine early environmental histories that are virtually impossible to find apart from Peter Smith's editions.

    I hope this isn't being too hard on the earlier reviewer, but I thought the matter needed clarification. The earlier reviewer's disappointment surely reflects his admiration for EP Thompson's work, which I certainly share---it's arguably the greatest history of the 20th century.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Correction to inanity of other reviews
    Thompson's book is THE ground-breaking work of social history for our century, pioneering in the "history of everyday life" (also taken up by Foucault, de Certeau, Davis, etc.); the history of working people; and the consideration of culture in the past.Unlike most other social history it is also brilliantly written and accessible.Buy it. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0394703227
    Sales Rank: 83905
    Subjects:  1. England    2. Europe - Great Britain - General    3. General    4. History    5. Labor    6. Social conditions    7. Sociology    8. Working class    9. History / General   


    Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies (Comedia)
    by Kuan-Hsing Chen, Routledge, Stuart Hall, David Morley, Dave Morley
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 1996)
    list price: $31.95 -- our price: $31.95
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
    This book is superb.It stands the test of time to tell the story of what Cultural Studies is and should be.Each essay contains a kernel of brilliance, but it is the work of Stuart Hall which shines the brightest!Now when are we going to get a collection of Stuart Hall's greatest hits???

    4-0 out of 5 stars Perspective for cultural studies junkies
    There isn't much in the way of research or theory here that will surprise people who are familiar with Stuart Hall. But the short essays and interviews in this book provide some interesting perspectives on the development of the "Birmingham school," and also on Hall's biography, including his ambivalent relationship to race, feminism and Jamaica. Useful material for people who have been reading Hall and have got to the point of wondering where he is coming from. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0415088046
    Sales Rank: 123462
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - Cultural    2. Communism    3. Culture    4. Hall, Stuart    5. Postmodernism    6. Social aspects    7. Sociology    8. Sociology - General    9. Anthropology    10. Cultural studies   


    For Marx (Verso Modern Classics)
    by Louis Althusser
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 November, 1990)
    list price: $20.00
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars HIgh Marks, For Marx
    It's been about 25 years since I last read (and reread) this work. "For Marx" and its contextual paradigm influenced me profoundly and contributed vital strands that have formed the course of my life. I think the key theme in Althusser's work and the trend of Marxism of which it is a part is to assert that a high order of thought is needed to be of real benefit to the underdog. I feel Althussers effort (as is Marxism) is a noble if preliminary effort in what can only be termed an epochal effort to consciously rise from the mire of human life dominated by topdogs. What was useful to Marxism of that time was to really take seriously the importance of Psychoanalysis and the pervasive presence of the Uncounscious. Another helpful idea is that of the multi-valenced quality of "social formation" in Contradiction and Overdetermination. Although my philosophical horizons are not defined by Marxism these days, much of Marxism, especially the currents populated by the likes of Althusser, Poulantzas, Gramsci etc. has an honored place in my intellectual tool kit. I feel that the wish to consciously transform our life in a benefical way may be assisted by the likes of Althusser et al, though in and of itself this is not enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic of Marxism.
    This collection of essays includes the seminal moments of many concepts still alive in Marxism and academia at large.The essays on "Contradiction and Overdetermination", "On the Young Marx", "Marxism and Humanism", and on the 1844 Manuscripts deserve to be revisited by a wider audience today in light of the growing interest in Marxism informed by post-structuralist thought.Much of Derrida's work owes an unacknowledged debt to the interpretations presented here (e.g. Althusser's concept of overdetermination, and his principled anti-humanism).Highly recommended to those interested in Marxist philosophy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ISAs and Beyond
    Any serious reader of Louis the Horrible is well-versed in the Althusserian arsenal of stock concepts and phrases: ISAs, interpellation, structuralist Marxism, et al. Perhaps a return to Pour Marx is in order amid the all-too-easy refutations of Althusser's legacy (c.f. Ferry and Renault) and the negligent historicizing of the veritably revolutionary/'evental' thinking that was mobilized in pieces like "Contradiction and Overdetermination." There's nothing to be ashamed of: take a look at this seminal work! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0860915344
    Sales Rank: 1295944
    Subjects:  1. History: World    2. Marxism (Political Theory)    3. Marx, Karl   

    Selections from the Prison Notebooks
    by Antonio Gramsci
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1971)
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $14.95
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Someone Will Take The $15 From You
    I bought this book six years ago (having read it previously), and back in the good old days it cost me only $14.95.In an era where many books cost 30% more than they did last year -- and many left-wing books "cost more" than even love or money -- how's that happen?In this case it happens through the book coming from International Publishers, the CPUSA's publishing house.But whether you previously cared how such things happen or not, this is a must-own and actually an easy read for such material (high-grade Marxist social philosophy).Consisting of notes scribbled by Gramsci during his imprisonment until his death, *Selections From The Prison Notebooks* is not a handbook for Armageddon (as one suspiciously poorly-informed reviewer has it);it's a guide to all the things you don't like about modern life (that is, real life).Concerning the realities of life in the corporate world it's surprisingly up-to-date, and not intemperate in its criticism; non-leftists will find things they can take away from the book with a clear conscience, and leftists of any stripe can take anything away from the book with a clear conscience (it is not doctrinaire Stalinism, either).The scope is wide and the vision is good, but it is *specifically* to be remembered that this is *the* most expansive work of Marxist theory ever, and not a guide to practical agitation: those interested in Gramsci's attitudes towards socialist organization can find his writings on worker's councils and early Fascist Italy elsewhere.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A marxist must read!
    This selection from Gramsci's "Prison Notebooks" contains his most important work written during his imprisonment from the italian fascist regime. It includes "the Intellectuals", texts on Education, Notes on Italian History, "The modern Prince", "State and Civil Society", "Americanism and Fordism" and notes on the philosophy of praxis, together with a very informative introduction on the italian Communist Movement in the first decades of the 20th century. In this collection Gramsci's theory of "hegemony" in class societies is fully presented, together with his intepretation of Marxism both in philosophy and in the analysis of the modern world.

    Gramsci was on of the foremost leaders of the Italian Communist Party; in his trial in 1927 the fascist Public Prosecutor proclaimed that his brain must be stopped from functioning for twenty years. Fortunately, Gramsci proved to be a devoted fighter in prison and his Notebooks furthered -in many points- the analysis of Marx and Lenin of how capitalism functions and how it could be overthrown.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great way to start the end of the world!!!
    This truly is a wonderful work if you want to bring along the "inevitable" revolution just a bit more quickly.This marxist "how to manual" gives you a good idea on how to usher in an age of gulags, political purges, and mass murder not seen since the age of good old Joe Stalin.Go out and get your copy today for a gulag near you tomorrow! ... Read more

    Isbn: 071780397X
    Sales Rank: 6060
    Subjects:  1. 1891-1937    2. General    3. Gramsci, Antonio,    4. Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc    5. Philosophy    6. Politics - Current Events   


    The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Theory and History of Literature)
    by Jean-Francois Lyotard
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 1984)
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $16.95
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    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars nice!
    A fine book that espouses a Post-Modern philosophy, akin to Baudrillard, Derrida and others.
    Most people who come to this book, so do because they would like to know what Post-Modernism is.
    Well, a definition would require some sort of truth, some sort of objective character (rather than agreement between the speakers), and, well, according to Post-Modernism, there probably isn't any (so long as we have an understanding of time, and the translation of the perceptual into the conceptual, and how mistranslation is at any time possible, and without guarantee.)However, you can still get your own idea, your own truth, to use Nietzsche's expression, of what Post-Modernism is.That, I suppose, would be the main reason to read this book, rather than to appear chic and cultured, and to know about everything that is in vogue intellectually, which can motivate many people to read many a book.
    "To be edified without ostentation."
    Also recommended: Toilet: The Novel by Michael Szymczyk (A Tribute to the Literary Works of Franz Kafka)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Postmodernism
    This book is a classic that anyone attempting to understand postmoderism must read.Beware!This book is not for the faint of heart as some may find the language inaccessible and somewhat unapproachable.Those who aspire to understand topics such as critical race theory, post-structuralism, critical pedagogy, feminist theory, lat-crit theory, critical race feminism and other theoretical issues of diversity should come to understand postmodernism through the lens of this author and scholar.

    2-0 out of 5 stars The Irrelevant Condition
    This ponderous mix of the philosophy of art, science, and politics leaves you with a headache and the irrelevant conclusion: "Let us wage war on totality; let us be witnesses to the unpresentable; let us activate the differences and save the honor of the name." Huh? This conclusion has as much practical value as the entire book.

    Lyotard seems to think that scientific validity is something similar to government legitimacy, and is thus based on doctrines, dogmas, and the degree to which people subscribe to them. He thinks such validity can be created and undone with what he calls "language games." Economically advanced societies are under what he believes to be the language game of "performativity" which, in common sense terms, means the desire to be efficient. Lyotard theorizes and philosophizes in such general terms that his postmodernism bears striking resemblance to the "totality" and holistic perspective on which he would wage war. No, Mr. Lyotard, all scientific theories are not created equal, not equally valid. And this postmodern masterpiece seems less relevant every day. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0816611734
    Sales Rank: 19489
    Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Civilization, Modern    3. Epistemology    4. History & Surveys - Modern    5. Knowledge, Theory of    6. Philosophy    7. Postmodernism    8. Questions & Answers   


    South Asian Cultural Studies: A Bibliography
    by Vinay Lal
    Hardcover (01 December, 1996)
    list price: $29.95 -- our price: $25.46
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    Isbn: 8173041342
    Sales Rank: 2569951
    Subjects:  1. Asia, South    2. Bibliographies & Indexes    3. Bibliography    4. Civilization    5. Cultural And Social Anthropology    6. Culture    7. Reference    8. Sociology    9. ASIA    10. Bibliographies, catalogues, discographies    11. Cultural studies   


    Return from Exile: Alternative Sciences/Illegitimacy of Nationalism/the Savage Freud
    by Ashis Nandy
    Hardcover (01 April, 1999)
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    Isbn: 0195641787
    Sales Rank: 1823474
    Subjects:  1. 20th century    2. Asia - India & South Asia    3. Biography    4. Civilization    5. Government - Comparative    6. History - General History    7. India    8. Nationalism    9. Political Science    10. Politics and government    11. Politics/International Relations    12. Scientists    13. Bose, Jagadis Chandra    14. Political and social views    15. Political science & theory    16. Ramanujan Aiyangar, Srinivasa    17. Sociology, Social Studies    18. Tagore, Rabindranath   


    The Spivak Reader: Selected Works of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
    by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Donna Landry, Gerald M. MacLean, Gerald Maclean
    Paperback (01 December, 1995)
    list price: $27.95 -- our price: $27.95
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    Isbn: 0415910013
    Sales Rank: 297666
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - Cultural    2. Culture    3. Feminism and literature    4. Feminist criticism    5. Feminist theory    6. Literary Criticism    7. Literature - Classics / Criticism    8. Social history    9. Sociology - General    10. Anthropology    11. Cultural studies    12. Literary studies: from c 1900 -   


    The Asian renaissance
    by Anwar Ibrahim
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Unknown Binding (1996)

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    Reviews (3)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Political Idealist's Manifesto
    This book echoes the voice of the new breed of Asians. Aptly entitled 'The Asian Renaissance', Anwar Ibrahim robustly asserts his optimism for Asians. He writes about the "East Asian Economic Miracle", argues for the Asians to stand up for their values and not be held in cultural servitude by the West. This typifies the new Asian, or modern Asian: bold, assertive and liberal. Perhaps this book should come as no surprise, given that he was, when the book was published, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia. Along with his one-time mentor, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, they can be regarded as the architect of modern Malaysia - politically, economically and culturally.

    The Asian Renaissance speaks out just what Asia is moving towards: independence and autonomy from the West. Anwar's vision for Asia thus lies in this book. Nonetheless, read critically and one will find that Anwar presents nothing original here. The abundance of quotations and excerpts is a catastrophic mistake. It leaves the central theme of the book, namely Anwar's thesis of an Asian renaissance, paling into insignificance and lurking beneath the thoughts of other writers.

    Throughout the book, Anwar Ibrahim persistently argues for a "middle path" which he purports to apply to virtually every aspect of life, be it in politics or economics. Thus he discredits communism and recognises the impossibility of an absolute democracy. Democracy should be controlled - by religion or something else - so that the people are duly regulated by the law. Well and good. But this straitjacket application for everything necessarily amounts to childish idealism utterly divorced from reality. First, sometimes it is necessary to be radical to progress. Anwar's mentor, Dr. Mahathir even attributes his success story to his ability "to be nasty when others are not". Those who follow the story of Anwar Ibrahim after his crude dismissal from the Malaysian political landscape in 1998 will recall how ardently he advocates for the abolition of the Internal Security Act which provides for detention without trial. Reading the book in this context one is inclined to concede that he believes the ISA is hostile to democracy. Yet with the upsurge of terrorism, many have come to be aware of such preventive measures. To this extent, democracy at times becomes a fascist convert - what "middle path" can one take? Second, history is always brought about by the clash of two extremes, absolute capitalism vs. communism, religious dogmatism vs. downright secularism and so forth. It is thus not easy to arrive at a "middle path", which Anwar makes it sound so easy to accomplish.

    Apparently, Anwar too doesn't subscribe to the 'paternalistic' view of the state where the government is to the people what parents are to the children. Thus he believes that Asians should be given equal freedom as the people in the West does, conveniently ignoring the fact that the people may be incapable of such a vast plethora of rights and liberty, given their "developing" or even "underdeveloped" country status hence many may still have not attained the level of education and maturity of the people in developed countries. But for this Anwar has an answer in the book: he quotes Dr. Sun Yat Sen, "Alas, that is like telling a child that he cannot go to school because he is illiterate!".

    Although the book is called "Asian" renaissance, it has a strong Islamic inclination and Anwar writes of Islam as if it has such a profound influence in the Asian continent. Implicitly he is stating his optimism that Islam will dominate Asia and given his rigorous stand to bring Malaysia to the fore of Islamic leadership, that could also mean that he might think of resurrecting Andalusia (which he rightfully glorifies) in Malaysia!

    Given these considerations, perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that The Asian Renaissance is a manifesto of a political idealism, at times even realism and pragmatism is threatened. Nevertheless given the spirit and vision deeply ingrained and embodied in the book, that dream might become reality, though not in the near future.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Asian Renaissance By Anwar Ibrahim - Review
    This book highlights and details to you Anwar Ibrahim's visions for his country. Anwar also mentions the problems he had with his government and country. There are many issues that he has brought up in this book, but some of them may not be so obvious. You have to read between the lines. Afterall, when he wrote the book, Anwar was still the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.

    I suppose he may not have wanted to jeopardise his position. But, I guess now that Anwar is a prisoner of conscience and no longer in power, you would definitely better understand his thoughts if you have been following the political developments in Malaysia ever since Anwar's sacking and arrest in September 1998.

    Anwar explains his aspirations for his beloved country Malaysia and the immediate Asian region in implementing a sound government with strong principles of social justice, good governance, zero-corruption, zero-cronism, zero-nepotism, and cultural and religious tolerance.

    Anwar is currently incarcerated beyond his will in the prison of Malaysia. This is caused by a deep political conspiracy initiated by Mahathir (Prime Minister of Malaysia) and some of his [associates]. He has been behind bars since 20 September 1998. But, the struggle for reform and justice continues in his beloved country. But, I strongly believe that the Truth shall prevail and Anwar shall be a free man in not too distant a future. Mark my word!


    5-0 out of 5 stars Truly Inspirational
    Having read The Asian Renaissance, I could not help but be consumed withexcitement and optimism about the future of Malaysian society, and that ofSoutheast Asia and Asia. At last, someone has so clearly and eloquentlyshown us the best way forward.

    Guided by his own religious convictions,drawing upon universal values of other faiths, and from the wisdom of greatthinkers, leaders and philosophers of the past, coupled with his wealth ofexperience in public life, Anwar exhibits a profound understanding of theconfusion and weaknesses that has held Asian societies back.

    Incarcerated though he may be, the spirit of reform which he advocatesremains very much alive. Anwar's thoughts, ideals and courage has inspiredmillions in Malaysia, and millions more throughout the region andcontinent.

    Malaysia, and indeed Southeast Asia and Asia, has in itsmidst, a man so uniquely gifted, as a thinker and reformer. That Anwar isalready a prominent and dynamic politician, and a leader of internationalrepute, lends even greater hope that his thoughts, ideas and convictions,will not, God willing, remain a dream.

    Anwar shines a bright light on thefuture of Asian societies. Truly inspirational! ... Read more

    Isbn: 9812047832
    Sales Rank: 1459975

    Rights, Religion and Reform: Enhancing Human Dignity through Spiritual and Moral Transformation
    by Chandra Muzaffar
    Paperback (13 September, 2002)
    list price: $40.95 -- our price: $40.95
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    Isbn: 0700716483
    Sales Rank: 2036489
    Subjects:  1. Asia - General    2. Buddhism - General    3. Civil rights    4. Human rights    5. Islam    6. Islam - General    7. Islam and humanism    8. Philosophy    9. Religion    10. Religion - World Religions    11. Religious aspects   


    Women take issue: Aspects of women's subordination
    by University of Birmingham
    Unknown Binding (1978)

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    Isbn: 0091336007
    Sales Rank: 1916068

    The Location of Culture
    by Homi K. Bhabha
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 February, 1994)
    list price: $27.95 -- our price: $27.95
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    Reviews (15)

    3-0 out of 5 stars I'd rather stick my hand in a blender than read this again
    The fact that this book is influential is generally beyond argument.What astonishes me, however, is that so many people had the endurance to sit through the horrific writing; the author's style is obnoxious in the extreme.The first paragraph, for example, notes that the question of culture is the "trope of our times," characterized by "a tenebrous sense of survival."These concepts are not mind-bending.An everday, or as Homi would say, "colloquial" vocabularly would sufficiently articulate his thesis, yet he seems hellbent on packing his work with obscure language like he needs show off or prove something.Again, his ideas are influential, but he makes reading them as painful as possible.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Mimicry, Mockery, Menace
    Ambivalence is a key term in Bhabha's Location of Culture. Accordingly, Bhabha's prose might be considered poetry or gibberish, but certainly not scholarship. There is no thesis, no argument, no evidence. That is not to say that Bhabha wouldn't be capable of such writing. Every once in a while, the reader can catch a glimpse of Bhabha's Other: the lucid thinker of post-colonialism. In order to compensate for the lack of clarity, structure and, yes, basic congruity between subjects, verbs and objects, Bhabha enacts the thoughts he fails to express. Indeed, his text is a performance of itself. Take, for instance, his chapter on mimicry. Whatever intelligent thoughts other scholars have derived from this concept, you will not find them in Bhabha's book. But he indeed shows you what he means, as he goes through the motions of scholarship. First, he makes a number of general statements that sound like a thesis. Then he puts a in a few convoluted sentence structures that make no sense-grammatically or otherwise. And finally he slams in a quote or two to prove a point-what point doesn't matter, for he did not make one in the first place. As a reader you will have to decide whether his work is a mimicry (in his definition "almost but not quite") of scholarship or its menace (according to Bhabha, 'not at all but still a little'). About one thing, though, he leaves no ambivalence: he "quite simply mocks its power to be a model." Harvard volunteered to be the evidence.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Even though this is one of the most highly regarded ...
    ...theory books of the 1990s, its fame and reputation seem overblown.None of the other reviews posted here have really stated what Bhabha tries to accomplish in "The Location of Culture," so I'll give it a crack, even though I'm no expert on postcolonial theory.

    To save you all some time, many of Bhabha's key points are made in the first two pages of his book.For instance:"In-between spaces provide the terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood--singular or communal--that initiate new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration, and contestation, in the act of defining the idea of society" (p. 1-2).Elsewhere, in-betweenness is easily the key concept in the book, as well as the notion of HYBRIDITY.The reason the modernist model of Colonialism is doomed to fail is not only because it needs the Other (the colonized) to validate its own supremacy (and to fulfill its desires), but also because it engages in what Bhabha refers to as "contra-modernity": modernity in "colonial conditions where its imposition is itself the denial of historical freedom, civic autonomy and the 'ethical' choice of refashioning" (p. 241).Bhabha finds that by examining the borderlines between Colonial power and Colonial oppression, a truer history of global populations can be obtained.In one of the finer passages in the book, Bhabha examines a scene from Salman Rushdie's controversial 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" and descibes how the postcolonial body--shaped by an outside nationalist culture--is representative of the colonizer, yet the colonizers "can never let the national history look at itself narcissistically in the eye" (p. 168).

    Now let me preface my explanation by saying this is what I THINK Bhabha is getting at.It's not that his prose is "confusing," as other reviewers have stated here--although it is exceedingly "academic" (and there is nothing wrong with that, in and of itself)--but it is mired in the theoryspeak of the West that Bhabha seems so insistent upon de-centralizing.Bhabha uses the theories of the European male elite with so much blind faith that it easily undermines much of what he is trying to accomplish.Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida are all over this book.These "founders of discourse" (as Foucault called Marx and Freud--and could posthumously call himself given his exhaltation in the academy after his death in 1984) represent an alternate (i.e. "left") critical practice, yet completely dominate Western discussions of theory in literary circles.Is not Bhabha, an Indian scholar, colonized by these minds?

    Also, Bhabha's insistence upon in-betweenness at times really seems to undermine his (apparent) intentions. He seems, on the one hand, to claim that it is precisely through in-betweenness that the oppressors dominate the oppressed.Yet, it also seems that this in-betweenness gives the oppressed the opportunity to resist the oppressors.We seem to be back at step zero.Is anything really being said here?

    He should have followed better the example of Frantz Fanon, who appears early and often as a primary source in "The Location of Culture."Fanon was surely no stranger to the Western tradition, but was able to write in a critical-poetical-personal style that was accessible to non-academics, a style that had real fire.Bhabha, with all his emphasis on the work of postcolonial theory--which, in his words, seeks to "revise those nationalist or 'nativist' pedagogies that set up the relation of Third World and First World in a binary structure of opposition" (p. 173)--continually relies on the concept of "doubling" (likely a Lacanian theory) as well as his notion of in-betweenness (or liminality, as he calls it) in such a manner that no distinct point of view really emerges.The theoryspeak seems to subsume any important observations he might be willing to make.

    While this book has some wonderful moments in it, I would estimate that about 25 of the books 250 pages really says something.I'm worried that this book has been canonized because the mainly white scholars that run the Academy need their theories stated in a dense manner by an Indian man to give them validity.I know that kind of thinking is very conspiratorial, but it is only a concern.I've not read any other Bhabha, or other postcolonial theorists like Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak or Arjun Appadurai, but I cannot recommend this an easy gateway into this material.I would recommend the writings of Fanon, though his writing precedes the moment of postcolonial theory by some three or four decades, as a better introduction. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0415054060
    Sales Rank: 279405
    Subjects:  1. 19th century    2. 20th century    3. General    4. History and criticism    5. Imperialism in literature    6. Literature, Modern    7. Sociology    8. Colonization & independence    9. Cultural studies    10. Discourse analysis   


    The Rhetoric of English India
    by Sara Suleri
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (15 February, 1993)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $14.00
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The allegorization of empire:the suspicious narrative
    Suleri's first two essays deal with Edmund Burke and Warren Hastings and the trial which began in 1787 and ended in 1794. Burke studied India for eighteen years and so aquired much more knowledge than his peers had attempted to aquire but his version of India was perhaps in the end no more real than theirs. Suleri sets up the actual trial which was on its surface an impeachment of th East India Companys Warren Hastings but in reality was a discourse about the nature of empire raising questions of power and accountability between merchant and government.Suleri finds the discourse to be one which enabled each in defining the other to also be made aware of its own nature. Burke was an especially interesting figure bringing to bear on the discourse a formidable intellect perhaps better suited for the aesthetic sphere than the political and indeed the trial was initially attended by the public as if it were high theatre.Burke's attempts to describe India are given thorough scrutiny by Suleri. Burke seems to make the point that India is beyond the Englishmans ken and yet he nonetheless makes many attempts to put India into words and Suleri makes much of the language he uses ie "we submit to what we admire, but we love what submits to us", such phrases Suleri feels speak volumes in our understanding of the dynamic that is English India.
    The travel logs of Fanny Parks & Harriet Tytler are interesting to Suleri insofar as they present a particularly female challenge to the traditionally masculine discourse of empire. The female travel log was usually a passive document of 'sketches' which rendered a dynamic continent also passive by focusing on the India of the past, ruins and relics. Parks however does not content herself with the picturesque past but focuses on the dynamic present, with a special attention being given her female Indian counterparts.
    The last four essays are on Kipling, Forster, Naipaul & Rushdie.
    The Kipling essay focuses on the adolescence of Kim and how that adolescent openness closes into a narrower vision when Kim comes of age. She thus reads Kim as an "allegory of colonial education".
    The Forster essay concentrates on the relationship between Aziz and Fielding in A Passage to India and how their relationship is indicative of the larger inability of cultural exchange between England and India.
    The Naipaul and Rushdie essays are especially impressive as Suleri offers a complete reading of their works to date. She addresses some of the criticism of Naipauls work ,particularly of his Indian travel piece Area of Darkness, but she reads even that work as a natural step in his progress towards self-perception that finds its most complete expression in Enigma of Arrival. Her overall view of the author is much more generous than many other critical views of Naipaul as she reads in his work, "ironies of enablement" that she feels have continued relevance to the newer generation postcolonial authors.
    Shame, Midnights Children & Satanic Verses by Rushdie all receive excellent and sustained attention. Suleri praises Rushdies postmodernist histories for their value as reconciling myths that create new openings.
    Excellent book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0226779831
    Sales Rank: 482633
    Subjects:  1. Anglo-Indian literature    2. English literature    3. English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh    4. History and criticism    5. Indic influences    6. Indic literature (English)    7. Literary Criticism    8. Literature - Classics / Criticism    9. Literary Criticism & Collections / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh   


    Prophetic Thought in Postmodern Times (Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism, Vol 1)
    by Cornel West
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 January, 1993)
    list price: $29.95
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Prophetic Thought
    Cornel West's Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism is a great book for anyone who has retained a sense of hope and humanity despite the historical goings on in the world in which we live.As usual, Cornel West inspireshis readers to sustain a sense of history in order to foster a feeling ofhope when contemplating the past, present and future.I highly recommendthis and all of West's other works for those pondering questions dealingwith humanity. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1567510051
    Sales Rank: 1928268
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - Cultural    2. Multiculturalism    3. Politics/International Relations    4. Race And Ethnic Relations    5. Race relations    6. Sociology    7. United States   

    Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics
    by Bell Hooks
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 August, 1990)
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
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    Reviews (2)

    3-0 out of 5 stars I yearn, too ? one white male response
    Being substantially outside of Bell Hooks' target audience, I confess a certain amount of difficulty in hearing what she has to say. Frankly, I had to read this book twice in order to get past her offensive terminology. "Whiteness" is the foundational problem for Hooks, and it leads to racism, colonization, and "oppressive structures of domination."

    It is possible that Hooks uses inflammatory language with intention. Her overarching purpose seems to be to rekindle black solidarity in order to complete movement toward racial freedom and equality. This goal is laudable, but I find it easier to support Hooks when she rephrases this goal outside of racial class conflict. She advocates for control of one's destiny, self-actualization, community, and integrity of being, but she does not seem to realize that these are the yearnings of all humanity, not simply American blacks.

    American culture, perhaps every human culture, is hierarchical. Even whites must deal with the "oppression" of those higher in the structure. Continued fracturing of middle and lower levels of the social structure along racial lines merely diffuses the power innate to each social class. Coalitions across racial, religious, and ethnic barriers are needed to compete with the hegemonic power of the social elites. Hooks passionate voice may actually work to maintain the secondary status of black Americans by making such coalitions more difficult.

    I find two additional inconsistencies in Hooks message. First, she advocates solidarity and self-actualization, but I cannot help but wonder if these two goals can be harmonized. Secondly, I believe she is guilty of baseline distortion in her assumption of hopelessness as the black cultural norm. This implied victimization is self-defeating, and seems to deny the tremendous advances black Americans have made educationally and economically in the last twenty years.

    It is possible that America needs to be continually confronted lest we become complacent in the progress we have made toward an egalitarian ideal. If so, Hooks' voice should be heard. But make no mistake about it, Hooks is not a voice of calm reason and balanced reflection. She writes from the fringes where ideals shine so brightly that the merest hint of a blemish is magnified.

    4-0 out of 5 stars bell hooks' insight is a gift to the world
    Yearning is comprised of a series of essays, which identify, dissect, and communicate cultural politics with a focus on the world's lack of focus towards black women.Various overlooked and underrepresented groups in themedia and world literature are given a voice too.Stereotypes and culturalignorance is dealt with thoroughly.Not only does the author shoot downthe upper-class white heterosexual male icon, she analyzes mentally,statistically and historically oppressed peoples own misgivings.All thewhile, the book is entertaining.bell hooks has a straight forwardapproach that forces one to look past his-story's rhetoric and recognizetruths.hooks writes for those with a vocabulary, so if that's what youlack, grab Webster and learn a few words as you gain insight andrecognition on cultural politics. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0896083853
    Sales Rank: 174699
    Subjects:  1. African Americans    2. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    3. Gender Studies    4. General    5. Intellectual life    6. Politics - Current Events    7. Politics/International Relations    8. Race identity   


    Figures in Black: Words, Signs and the "Racial" Self
    by Henry Louis Gates
    Paperback (01 November, 1989)
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $19.95
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    Isbn: 0195060741
    Sales Rank: 675196
    Subjects:  1. African American authors    2. African Americans    3. African Americans in literature    4. American - African American & Black    5. American literature    6. Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - General    7. History and criticism    8. Intellectual life    9. Literary Criticism    10. Literature - Classics / Criticism    11. Africa    12. Literary studies: general    13. USA   


    The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness
    by Paul Gilroy
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 1995)
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    Reviews (3)

    5-0 out of 5 stars a textual odyssey of rethinking black political culture.
    In "The Black Atlantic" Paul Gilroy constructs an excellent text based on the black diasporic experience. His views of black culture as being a dynamic networked construct based on the idea of the diaspora derived from Jewish culture, is an illuminating concept that contains great substance. Gilroy's underlying transnational humanism (that can be read in his latest pseudo-utopian work "Against Race") and vital rethinking about the perils of cultural nationalism and the urgent benefits of a unique hybrid culture is a thoroughly needed breath in the stasis of linear monocultural thinking. The book functions in an excellent manner in addressing the complex dynamics of slavery, colonization, and their inherent residual effects on black political culture. In addition the method in which Gilroy weaves Adorno, Hendrix, hip-hop culture, Du Bois, Wright, Hegel and a host of others in a clear and eloquent manner is cause for reading in itself. In a nutshell, this is a valuable sociological and philosophical work that creates a rupture in linear, absolutist views of history, sexuality, identity and other various elements in relation to black particularity. In this book Gilroy composes the dynamics of intercultural exchange (whether artistic, political, social, moral etc.) as well as attributing to socialized historical memory through its brilliant text.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Disavowal of Double Consciousness
    The Black Atlantic is an attempt to call to attention the contribution ofthe slaves to the progression of modernity.Submitting himself to theoperation of Western modernity, Gilroy recognizes that there exists adouble consciousness in the black flesh, that is, the black sees his ownimage through the 'other.'However, as to me, we should find the thirdterm--denegation to revolute against the metaphysic difference and culturalstrength instead.Denegation in its very essence is not to break down theestablished but rather to hold a critical eye on the contigent culturaltransformation and has the self recognize the alterity.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An insightful look at black transglobal culture
    Paul Gilroy brings a fresh eye and mind to the challenging task of examining black cultural and political manifestations as they affect the transglobal community. Gilroy, unlike some cultural theorists, sees theinterconnectedness between those discourses around race, class, gender, andsexuality and its impact on the black and world communities. It is hisarticulation of how these entities are intertwined that makes for a freshand insightful examination of contemporary black diasporic experience. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0674076060
    Sales Rank: 80563
    Subjects:  1. American - African American & Black    2. History    3. History: World    4. People of Color    5. Reference    6. Sociology    7. Sociology - General   


    Cartographies of Diaspora : Contesting Identities (Gender, Racism, Ethnicity Series)
    by Avtar Brah
    Paperback (01 January, 1997)
    list price: $25.99 -- our price: $25.99
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    Isbn: 0415121264
    Sales Rank: 490081
    Subjects:  1. Anthropology - Cultural    2. Archaeology / Anthropology    3. Asia    4. Asians    5. Emigration and immigration    6. Great Britain    7. Group identity    8. Immigrants    9. Social conditions    10. Cultural studies    11. Ethnography    12. United Kingdom, Great Britain   


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