Culture and Imperialism

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9780099967507: Culture and Imperialism

Following his profoundly influential study, "Orientalism", Edward Said now examines western culture. From Jane Austen to Salman Rushdie, from Yeats to media coverage of the Gulf War, "Culture and Imperialism" is a broad, fierce and wonderfully readable account of the roots of imperialism in European culture.

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Edward Said makes one of the strongest cases ever for the aphorism, "the pen is mightier than the sword." This is a brilliant work of literary criticism that essentially becomes political science. Culture and Imperialism demonstrates that Western imperialism's most effective tools for dominating other cultures have been literary in nature as much as political and economic. He traces the themes of 19th- and 20th-century Western fiction and contemporary mass media as weapons of conquest and also brilliantly analyzes the rise of oppositional indigenous voices in the literatures of the "colonies." Said would argue that it's no mere coincidence that it was a Victorian Englishman, Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton, who coined the phrase "the pen is mightier . . ." Very highly recommended for anyone who wants to understand how cultures are dominated by words, as well as how cultures can be liberated by resuscitating old voices or creating new voices for new times.

From the Publisher:

"In Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said's immense erudition and interpretive audacity are brought to bear on a variety of literatures, reanimating the terms of his title and discovering, in the process, how some of the most revered cultural productions call upon the same energies that go into the building of empires. His new book will likely become a classic of contemporary criticism." --Richard Poirier

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