The Mythology of Imperialism: A Revolutionary Critique of British Literature and Society in the Modern Age


ISBN 9789350021934
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ISBN 9789350021934


The Mythology of ImperialismI have read, used, and considered to be one of the genuinely important handful of books on modern literature.

—Edward Said

First published in 1971,They Mythology of Imperialismwas nothing short of a call to arms, an open revolt against the literary establishment. In his critique of five well-known Britsih writers – Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, D H Lawrence, E M Forster, and Joyce Cary – Raskin not only developed the model for a revolutionary anti-imperialist criticism but helped usher in the field of postcolonial studies.

Nearly four decades later,The Mythology of Imperialismis all the more relevant. Its readings of British literature still offer bold and original insight into the relationship between text, artist, and historical context. But, perhaps more crucially, this book sends a revolutionary message to all readers and students of literature. Against much of today’s postcolonialism – diluted by postmodern obfuscation and largely detached from its historical roots – Raskin locates the center of his anti-imperialist criticism in the anti-imperialist struggle itslef and takes his cues not from "the assassins of culture" in the academy but from the national liberation movements of his time.

Written with absorbing passion and machete-sharp analysis, this new edition includes the original text, a new introduction and afterword by the author, and foreword by Bruce Robbins.

Jonah Raskinteaches First Amendment law and journalism at Sonoma State University in Northern California. He is the author ofThe Radical Jack LondonandOut of the Whale, as well as biographies of Abbie Hiffman and Allen Ginsberg.

Bruce Robbinsis Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and author ofThe Servant’s Hand.


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