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A Dying Colonialism

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  521 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
An incisive and illuminating account of how, during the Algerian Revolution, the people of Algeria changed centuries-old cultural patterns and embraced certain ancient cultural practices long derided by their colonialist oppressors as primitive, in order to destroy those same oppressors. Fanon uses the fifth year of the Algerian Revolution as a point of departure for an ex ...more
Paperback, 181 pages
Published 1994 by Grove (first published 1959)
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Jan 07, 2014 Brian rated it really liked it
Shelves: ruard_referred

After completing MLK's autobiography I decided to read a non-fiction work written from the other end of the spectrum of violence from where Dr. King lived. Fanon wrote several pieces on Algeria's violent uprising against French colonialism and the struggle for independence - this work is a collection of essays that encompass a range of topics, from how the revolution forever changed the Algerian family dynamic (women becoming soldiers and an integral part of the battle - leaving behind the role
Eric Steere
Jan 06, 2013 Eric Steere rated it really liked it
A Dying Colonialism is an enquiry, both a philosophical and political polemic, on the state and meaning of conflict that engulfed Algeria in the period of the Algerian war for independence from France. It was first published in France in 1959, while the battles continued in the Casbahs of Algiers, Oran, and Constantine. The conflict had at this point extended rural areas and villages, and this book was written in the context of the unprecedented unity of the Algerian objection to colonialism, ju ...more
May 25, 2009 Chelsea rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I had to read this book for a class I took, and it was hard to get through. I'm planning to reread it eventually and see if my aversion to it was due to it being required reading, or if it really was as bad as I thought it was.
Feb 05, 2008 Bekah rated it it was amazing
I didnt think that after reading a book about the algerian revolution, that id want to immediately read it again. i didnt, but the accounts of people at the time, particularly how algerian women dealt with rapidly changing cultural identity, are interesting enough to want to do so.
Jee Koh
Dec 11, 2016 Jee Koh rated it it was amazing
Fanon's account of the Algerian War of independence. In the war the women learned to instrumentalize their veils as revolutionary soldiers and agents. Fanon shows why the rural Algerians first rejected the radio because it was perceived as the voice of the enemy, the colonial authorities and culture, and later embraced it when it broadcast the Voice of the revolution. In like manner Fanon argued for why Algerians first rejected and then embraced Western medicine. (After reading this chapter, I u ...more
Ayanna Dozier
Nov 26, 2015 Ayanna Dozier rated it it was amazing
I need to return to this review at some point. In A Dying Colonialism, Fanon documents the Algerian during the fifth year of the Algerian War in 1959. It should be noted that the French title translates to "the fifth year of the Algerian war." I note this because A Dying Colonialism, the english translated title assumes that the effects of colonialism can die off and from Fanon's writing it is clear that much work in realizing revolution is needed after the colonizers leave.

I first read this bo
May 19, 2011 Voyou rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory
The first essay, "Algeria Unveiled," is particularly impressive in its discussion of the way in which both traditional Algerian, and modern western, norms of femininity are imprinted on the bodies of Algerian women, and the way in which women involved in the FLN were able to bodily inhabit and alter these norms in the service of the revolution. Fanon's discussion here has much in common with theories of performativity that would later be developed by Foucault and Butler, but where Butler (especi ...more
Lacey Losh
Jul 09, 2010 Lacey Losh rated it liked it
Most parts of this book were fascinating. I read this book to familiarize myself with Algeria's revolutionary changes during the mid 1900s. I'm planning to read collections of essays and novels about this subject in the near future, and I wanted a little background knowledge of the struggle of the Algerian people during this time period.

This book did the job, but for a relatively small book, there were a few parts I found I had to force my way through. Still, it was quite informative and very in
Jan 14, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: folks interest in anticolonial struggle and African history.
A wonderful collection of Fanon's essays in the Algerian National Liberation Front's newspaper during the height of the anticolonial war against France. It spans the time in between Black Skin White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth. Much weaker on theory, either psychoanalytic or political, but much richer historically. A lot of direct commentary on the French left at the time, the Third World movement, and continent-wide African politics in the 50s. Very readable.
Omnia N
Apr 20, 2013 Omnia N rated it liked it
a very comprehensive book, regardless the fact that I am not in a great need of it. Loose at the very last chapter,or at least it was not that interesting to me, if we disregard that fact that Fanon was a doctor ,though I enjoyed seeing Algeria from a Western eye.
Nov 09, 2007 Natalie rated it really liked it
Insightful reading into the Algerian revolution in particular, and modern-day nationalism in general. Fanon, though clearly partial, does a good job of representing the cultural tensions arising with colonialism. The writing was clear and enjoyable.
Robb Bridson
Feb 22, 2013 Robb Bridson rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Offers some understanding, or at least a framework, for understanding the rebellious movements of occupied cultures. Mostly talks about how as occupiers crusade against traditional customs, those customs become powerful symbols for rebellion.
Roger Cottrell
An important historical document but one which nonetheless fails to explain how the FLN was able to smash the Algerian working class movement to atoms while citing Fanon's anti-colonialism as its ideology
Thom Dunn
Much more readable than Wretched of the Earth. Now something of a nostalgia piece to be set alongside Paolo Friere's Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
Jul 08, 2008 Rocky rated it really liked it
I really like how Fanon uses psychology for liberatory means. I also enjoyed the accounts from white folks who were involved in the struggle against colonialism.
Anterobot Garcia
Jan 11, 2012 Anterobot Garcia rated it really liked it
It's Fanon... do you really give stars to Frantz Fanon?
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Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and author from Martinique. He was influential in the field of post-colonial studies and was perhaps the pre-eminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades.

فرانز فانون

طبيب نفسانيّ وفيلسوف اجتم
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“The Algerian fidaï, unlike the unbalanced anarchists made famous in literature, does not take dope. The fidaï does not need to be unaware of danger, to befog his consciousness, or to forgot. The "terrorist," from the moment he undertakes an assignment, allows death to enter into his soul. He has a rendezvous with death.The fidaï, on the other hand, has a rendezvous with the life of the Revolution, and with his own life. The fidaï is not one of the sacrificed. To be sure, he does not shrink before the possibility of losing his life or the independence of his country, but at no moment does he choose death.” 4 likes
“It is the white man who creates the Negro. But it is the negro who creates negritude.” 3 likes
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