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The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon
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The Wretched of the Earth (1961)

by Frantz Fanon

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,901163,265 (4.06)99
"Frantz Fanon was one of the twentieth century's most important theorists of revolution, colonialism, and racial difference, and this, his masterwork, is a classic alongside Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X." "The Wretched of the Earth is an analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage of colonized peoples and the role of violence in historical change, the book also incisively attacks postindependence disenfranchisement of the masses by the elite on one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black-consciousness movements around the world. This new translation updates its language for a new generation of readers and its lessons are more vital now than ever."--Jacket.… (more)

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» See also 99 mentions

English (15)  French (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
This book is life-changing, and it captures the sentiment of the anti-colonial struggle: the first time a colonized people recognizes that it has been lied to for generations, the first time the colonized person breaks these lies at the barrel of a gun, and the pitfalls of national liberation that are to be avoided once liberation is wrested from the hands of the oppressors.

Perhaps the most striking part of this book is the final section, where Fanon discusses his psychological profiles of liberation fighters, colonial guards, and colonial victims.

Liberate your soul from the colonization of everyday life. Find out how in this book. ( )
  magonistarevolt | Apr 28, 2020 |
Reading Fanon (with the immediate understanding he will require rereading) took time and emotional energy. His insight into the challenges of a postcolonial nation are astute but I often felt like the prose weaved far from the principal argument, especially on violence. My most significant takeaways were from his elucidation of culture and the steps of the colonized intellectuals exerting a newfound freedom after breaking from the oppressor.
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
A psychological exploration of the oppressed and the oppressor. Analyzing the evolution of the native, he provides extraordinary insights into revolutionary change. Fanon was no champion of violence, he simply embraced the truth and portrayed the reality of a situation and the unfolding dialectic. He accurately describes the pitfalls of a postcolonial state, where the national bourgeoisie would turn into a profiteering caste, too glad to accept the dividends the formal colonial state hands out to it. This is very true of the Indian bourgeoisie who were very unconscious of their revolutionary role and demobilised the masses. For Fanon, only a radical democracy that involves the complete mobilisation and rising the consciousness of the masses can save a post-colonial society from the "caste of profiteers", military dictatorships and from the nation getting torn apart from tribal and religious differences. In countries where the urban proletariat were a minute faction, he was a champion of the peasant class and the lumpenproletariat as the revolutionary classes.

At the end, he provides a list of wartime psychological case studies in harrowing detail. In the powerful conclusion, his ultimate message was of humanity. His warnings against the path of aping the west, against the obsession with the notion of catching up with the west.
" European lifestyles should not tempt us to go astray. In European lifestyles and technology I see a constant denial of man, an avalanche of murders."
How accurately he describes the "United States of America where the flaws, sickness, and inhumanity of Europe have reached frightening proportions". This is exactly what Gandhi feared too, that India would go on a path of trying to emulate western consumerism. In a world where there are limited resources, what happens when India tries to follow the unsustainable path of emulating the western levels of accumulation and consumption? Especially considering the fact that all the riches of the west were the result of the plundering of the third world. When India decided to follow the American path, the result is exactly what we see today, one very small section of the population extremely rich and a huge section of the population extremely poor.

He wanted the third world to be the champion of new humanism. In today’s world where massive inequalities have been built up consciously, deliberately and systematically, where large sections of population live in a de-humanised condition, Fanon’s passionate message is very important to address the urgent need of radical redistribution of wealth and the means of production. ( )
  kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
A classic text, but one more for academics. Fanon's ideas work better as epigrammatic statements to open books than as a whole book by themselves. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
A very interesting study of the devastating effects of colonization on it's subjects long after the exit of the colonizers. The french in particular do not seem to have learnt a whole lot despite the inhuman slaughter of WWs I and II.
  danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fanon, FrantzAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Banisadr, Abu al-HasanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Farrington, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Philcox, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartre, Jean-PaulPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sartre, Jean-PaulPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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National liberation, national renaissance, the restoration of nationhood to the people, commonwealth: whatever may be the headings used or the new formulas introduced, decolonization is always a violent phenomenon.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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