Review by Choice Review
The essays in this collection are guided by the paradigm of empire coined by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri: a perennial global order of boundless power in the nomadic age that spurred the 19th-century British "reach" and the 20th-century American "overstretch.. Examining postcolonial and postmodernist claims, the contributors disclaim the dualism of colonial discourses and attempt to infuse into the notion of empire an ethical dimension missing from Hardt and Negri. The grouping mimics stages of duality: colonizer/colonized, hybridity, alterity, and queering empire. As the writers and works discussed reveal, such a project has a wide reach. Therein is the weakness of the volume: it is ambitious, tentatively encompassing, yet fractious. Each essay stands on its own merits. If the postcolonial critics sound familiar, the primary texts and their authors (for example, Barry Unsworth and Luis Lopez Nieves) have yet to make inroads. The volume joins Hardt and Negri's Empire (CH, Oct'00, 38-1208), Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004), and Commonwealth (CH, May'10, 47-5312); Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism (CH, Jul'93, 30-6309); and Paul Gilroy's After Empire (2004). Summing Up: Recommended. With reservations. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. K. M. Kapanga University of Richmond
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.