Lots to say a little later..having difficulty with the star rating for this one.
Dumas wrote this one year before his masterpiece Three musketeers andLots to say a little later..having difficulty with the star rating for this one.
Dumas wrote this one year before his masterpiece Three musketeers and the Count of Monte Christo. He was at the top of his game. So why is this not required reading? It is his only book about race. Dumas was bi-racial, a concept not known in the 1800. He considered himself a mulatto..a class and racial identity similar to the South African "colored". Not white, not Black. He tells a swashbuckling, rip roaring tale hinged upon racial stereotypes and politics of the time. The tale is so great that the 5 stars are necessary..but with an asterisk...Dumas to any 21st century sensibilities is an unrepentant racist. The end to the slave revolt in the story will make any sensible modern person gag in revulsion yet the hero leads the same said revolt!. The book centers around the need for the mulatto protagonist to exact his revenge upon the racism of the white power structure. Yet this same mulatto voices throughout the book those same prejudices against the African peoples as the whites!. One must remember that the author is a product of his times or it will be tough sledding indeed. But as a look into history, written by a man cognizant of his African heritage, and the racist society in which he was born, it is invaluable. If they can teach Huckleberry Finn in schools...why not this book which puts European racism front and center? Unlike today where one drop of blood makes one Black, in Dumas time he existed in between Black and white. He believed every stereotype of African people and accepted White superiority. One will be dumbfounded at the 200 year history of racism found in this book...Some things could be transported whole to Obama's America!
The fact that you will be repulsed by the stereotype and denigration's of black peoples in this book should not deter you from seeing that the most celebrated writer of his time wrote a story denouncing racism, encouraging slave revolt (even if a major character is a slave trader, Ugh!) and advocating that seeming irrepressible urge for Black men to marry that White fair maiden...
I cannot understand why this book is not more well known..yes I can...its about race...slavery...(when slavery was legal)..racism... miscegenation...class warfare..OH yeah! he even details the difference between Sunni and Shite Muslims! 200 years ago! If only G. Bush had read Dumas!
Read it..knowing your 21st century sensibilities will be offended.....more
Certainly a classic. Shakesperean motiff recast as an African folktale. And like all classics an unforgetable read that translates the everyday blissCertainly a classic. Shakesperean motiff recast as an African folktale. And like all classics an unforgetable read that translates the everyday bliss and brutality of human existence into the universal threads. ...more
If ever there was a book that fit the description "life changing" than this is that book. Dr. Bashir writes elegantly about her idealic (almost too faIf ever there was a book that fit the description "life changing" than this is that book. Dr. Bashir writes elegantly about her idealic (almost too fantasticly perfect) youth and upbringing in the as yet war torn southern Sudan. Her peaceful, intelligent and wealthy father. Her quiet and nurturing mother and her traditional and fierce, warrior of a grandmother all live in harmony with nature and each other. Then like a sudden thunderbolt her peace is shattered not by war but the insiduous traditional custom of female circumcision..which is really a euphemision for genital mutilation...I had a tough time getting through these explicit passages..where once I may have wavered in my condemnation of the practice....in deference to African tribal and religious traditions..any such excuses escape me now. That the female elders of the village, who had themselves endured it, were the enforcers of the practice says a lot about the sometimes destructive power of traditional ingrained notions and attitudes toward sex and gender. But as life somehow returns to normal for them, each days readings becomes more filled with trepidation for me because I already know that these very vividly drawn people are going to come to a malevolent end. And they do..and it rips your heart out if you have any human compassion...That Dr. Bashir somehow escaped does not make up for the lost lives and destruction and famine unleashed in the name of religious and ethnic intolerance. Why humans continue to pat themselves on the back for their civilization while allowing unbridled genocide and racism (because it is Arab-African racism at the heart of the conflict) free riegn I'll never understand. ...more
It is purely coincidental that I read The Jihad Next Door and this book back to back. (My book selection order being somewhat akin to Chaos Theory) BuIt is purely coincidental that I read The Jihad Next Door and this book back to back. (My book selection order being somewhat akin to Chaos Theory) But they could have been part 1 and part 2 of the consequences of religious extremism. One Islamic and the other Mormon. But what made this book such a fascinating read for me is that this one uncovers a world of Mormon fundamentalism that operates almost openly here in America but scares me more than Islam ever will. The history of the polygamous sects of the LDS church are seeped in blood and rascist fanatacism. And their "revelations of removal" are just Jihad by another name. The similarities in the books are chilling. But while Jihad tells the story of innocents caught up in religious fervor there is nothing innocent about the main characters in Krakauers story. They are either executed or waiting for it on death row for the killings done because it was God's will. Hopefully there is a special punishment reserved for all men and women who perform the particular abomination that is killing innocents in the name of God. Also being somewhat of a history buff I learned so much that I didn't know about the history of the Mormon church and territorial America. The authors scholarship shines but yet he keeps the narrative flowing. While maybe not a great book it was certainly exciting and captivating to me....more
Karl would be spinning in his grave right now and in between gaffuws saying I TOLD YOU SO! as America saves its most stalwart capitalist icons with soKarl would be spinning in his grave right now and in between gaffuws saying I TOLD YOU SO! as America saves its most stalwart capitalist icons with socialist policies! Read it and understand that the only real value is human labor...not paper or plastic....more