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Fighting Words

Fifteen Books that Shaped the Postcolonial World


Edited By Dominic Davies, Erica Lombard and Benjamin Mountford

Can a book change the world? If books were integral to the creation of the imperial global order, what role have they played in resisting that order throughout the twentieth century? To what extent have theories and movements of anti-imperial and anticolonial resistance across the planet been shaped by books as they are read across the world?

This updated edition of Fighting Words responds to these questions by examining how the book as a cultural form has fuelled resistance to empire in the long twentieth century. Through fifteen case studies that bring together literary, historical and book historical perspectives, this collection explores the ways in which books have circulated anti-imperial ideas, as they themselves have circulated as objects and commodities within regional, national and transnational networks. What emerges is a complex portrait of the vital and multifaceted role played by the book in both the formation and the form of anticolonial resistance, and the development of the postcolonial world.

«The volume remains an excellent source of inspiration for the classroom and for a form of academic research that builds on praxis and aims for social change.» (Claire Gallen, Commonwealth Essays and Studies, 41.1)

«Importantly, the volume achieves the rare feat of both providing ample material for reflection and leaving its readers wanting to know more about the books examined within its pages. In this sense, Fighting Words is a most stimulating read; it should be of considerable interest to a large number of students and researchers in postcolonial studies.» (Darica Tunca, Recherche Littéraire, 35)