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By P. Duara

Decolonization brings jointly the main state of the art considering by means of significant historians of decolonization, together with formerly unpublished essays and writings by means of leaders of decolonizing international locations together with Ho Chi-Minh and Jawaharlal Nehru. The chapters during this quantity current a circulate clear of Western research of decolonizaton and as a substitute flow in the direction of the attitude of imaginative and prescient of the previous colonies. this can be a ground-breaking examine of an issue valuable to contemporary international heritage.

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Extra info for Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then (Rewriting Histories)

Example text

Non-alignment in any absolute sense was a chimera. Still, many new nations were able to play off the competition between the two superpowers to some advantage. The relatively restricted power of multinational capital allowed the nation-state to regulate relationships between national society and global society, although this varied from nation to nation. Moreover, domestically, the nation-state form as an unprecedentedly strong interventionist and mobilizational agency was often able to achieve a measure of social justice and development.

In such ways, the discourse of multiple and alternative civilizations gave considerable authority and confidence to the critique of the Social Darwinist ideology that had fuelled imperialism and the imperialist idea of the civilizing mission. In each of the chapters of Part I, the reader will note how the nationalist leaders or intellectuals appeal not only to an egalitarian ideal deriving from the socialist tradition, but combine it with an appeal to unique civilizational traditions, whether these be panAfrican communitarianism, timeless Indian or Chinese practices hidden among the ordinary people, or Islamic historical greatness.

But if we maintain these contacts and are receptive to them, we shall adapt ourselves to the curve of life without losing the essential characteristic which we have valued. Our approach to knowledge in the past was a synthetic one, but limited to India. That limitation continued and the synthetic approach gave place gradually to a more analytical one. We have now to lay greater stress on the synthetic aspect and make the whole world our field of study. This emphasis on synthesis is indeed necessary for every nation and individual if they are to grow out of the narrow grooves of thought and action in which most people have lived for so long.

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