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Critique of Black Reason
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Table of Contents

Translator's Introduction ix
Acknowledgments xvii
Introduction. The Becoming Black of the World 1
1. The Subject of Race 10
2. The Well of Fantasies 38
3. Difference and Self-Determination 78
4. The Little Secret 103
5. Requiem for the Slave 129
6. The Clinic of the Subject 131
Epilogue. There Is Only One World 179
Notes 185
Index 209

About the Author

Achille Mbembe is Research Professor in History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is coeditor of Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis, also published by Duke University Press, and the author of On the Postcolony as well as several books in French.
Laurent Dubois is Marcello Lotti Professor of Romance Studies and History and Director of the Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke University.

Reviews

"A very demanding yet incredibly powerful book." * Augsburger Allgemeine *
"[I]ncontrovertible reading on the complex dynamic between race and belonging in twenty-first century societies. Though global in reach, the work is primarily infused with insightful analysis and perspectives on the United States, South Africa, and France, spaces in which the historical legacies of slavery, apartheid, and colonialism remain of pertinence to this day, while also being locations in and from which, the author himself has gained particular familiarity as integral components of his intellectual journey and trajectory. . . . [B]rilliant and pioneering. . . ." -- Dominic Thomas * Europe Now *
"Critique of Black Reason constitutes an important move in bringing together francophone and anglophone postcolonial thought and is a timely demonstration of the re-invigorating potential of both critical thought and translation." -- Hannah Grayson * Postcolonial Text *
"Achille Mbembe's Critique de la Raison Negre . . . [is] a book that you want to shout about from the rooftops, so that all your colleagues and friends will read it. My copy, only a few months old, is stuffed with paper markers at many intervals, suggesting the richness of analysis and description on nearly every page. . . . This is certainly one of the outstanding intellectual contributions to studies of empire, colonialism, racism, and human liberation in the last decade, perhaps decades. . . . A brilliant book." -- Elaine Coburn * Decolonization *
"Critique of Black Reason is an illuminating and brilliant addition to Mbembe's corpus. It is the kind of book, I suspect, that will become compulsory reading for undergraduate and graduate classes worldwide." -- Manosa Nthunya * The African Independent *
"Achille Mbembe is one of the paradoxical optimists who predict the worst without ever losing their faith in the future. . . . Admittedly, slavery has been abolished and colonialism is a thing of the past. But today new forms of alienation have arisen, the Other continues to be stigmatized, and the monster of capitalism reaches for its dream of an limitless horizon. An inevitability? Not necessarily, shoots back this thinker, who invites us to reimagine the geography of the world." -- Maria Malagardis * Liberation *
"An outstanding intellectual contribution to the state of the art of race scholarship. It is a beautifully written work that begs for every sentence to be quoted. . . . Critique of Black Reason is an inescapable and vital work of race scholarship that animates the reader to imagine new radical possibilities for humanity. As such, the book is the must-read for scholars interested in critical race studies, colonial and postcolonial studies." -- Mante Vertelyte & Morten Stinus Kristensen * Ethnic and Racial Studies *
"A lucid, thoughtful and sometimes poetic work, with phrases you want to underline on every page. Mbembe is a voice that needs to be heard, in the current discussion about racism and immigration in Europe." -- Peter Vermaas * NRC Handelsblad *
"The book is a must for neoliberal and postmodern theory enthusiasts looking for insights on social constructs and perceptions of race relations. . . . The book is a challenge for the world to shift its thought pattern towards what has been disconnected traditionally as black history, to an incorporated collective human history bearing its roots in black history." -- Mary Abura * Journal of Contemporary African Studies *
"For me the most important African thinker today, Achille Mbembe has published the Critique of Black Reason. A very great book, encompassing the perspectives of the African continent as well as the political challenges facing the whole world." -- Jean-Marie Durand * Les inrockuptibles *
"Achille Mbembe has returned with a work that will surely prove provocative: Critique of Black Reason. This nod to Kant's philosophic classic is, however, devilishly well-chosen since this work speaks to the never-ending tendency to place Europe at the world's 'center of gravity.' Achille Mbembe . . . fights against established ideas and lazy thinking." * Am Magazine *
"With characteristic elocution Achille Mbembe in Critique of Black Reason attends to the challenge . . . to write Africa/Blackness in all its manifestations." -- Lwazi Lushaba and Ziyana Lategan * South African Historical Journal *

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