Thompson_08-1987
Reviews

The Third World Revisited

"Sixty thousand blacks are annually embarked from the coast of Guinea, never to return to their native country; but they are embarked in chains; and this constant emigration which in the space of two centuries might have furnished armies to overrun the globe, accuses the guilt of Europe and the weakness of Africa."
—Edward Gibbon

Among the few writers who can counter accusations of white man's imperialism without empathizing with the spirit of Cecil Rhodes is the French novelist and journalist Pascal Bruckner. He has identified faulty arguments about the Third World and presented them in a visionary and iconoclastic essay.

In the American context, Bruckner could not be called either conservative or liberal. He chastises all of us for readily accepting the terms of the discourse handed down to us by those wielding much power and little authority. In the European context, he shows once again that when the chips are down, we can depend on the French tradition of clarity and common sense to counter the monstrosities of thought and imagination begotten in the Dark Ages of Teutonic Romanticism. It is not accidental that, as Terry Eagleton recently admitted in Diacritics, France is now the center of anti-Marxist reaction and not England, Germany, or, in spite of its tremendous resources of manpower, the United States.

Bruckner sets out...

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