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The Colonial Present: Afghanistan. Palestine. Iraq

ISBN: 978-1-57718-090-6
392 pages
July 2004, Wiley-Blackwell
The Colonial Present: Afghanistan. Palestine. Iraq (1577180909) cover image
In this powerful and passionate critique of the 'war on terror' in Afghanistan and its extensions into Palestine and Iraq, Derek Gregory traces the long history of British and American involvements in the Middle East and shows how colonial power continues to cast long shadows over our own present.

  • Argues the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 activated a series of political and cultural responses that were profoundly colonial in nature.
  • The first analysis of the “war on terror” to connect events in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq.
  • Traces the connections between geopolitics and the lives of ordinary people.
  • Richly illustrated and packed with empirical detail.
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Preface.

1 The Colonial Present.

2 Architectures of Enmity.

3 The Land Where Red Tulips Grew.

4 Civilization and Barbarism.

5 Barbed Boundaries.

6 Defiled Cities.

7 The Tyranny of Strangers.

8 Boundless War.

9 Gravity's Rainbows.

Guide to Further Reading.

Index
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Derek Gregory is Distinguished University Scholar and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
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  • Argues the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11 activated a series of political and cultural responses that were profoundly colonial in nature.
  • The first analysis of the “war on terror” to connect events in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq.
  • Traces the connections between geopolitics and the lives of ordinary people.
  • Richly illustrated and packed with empirical detail.
See More
“This is a great book. 'Gregory has written a book entwining global geography with social danger. The Colonial Present takes us through the contemporary wars in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories and Iraq as connected projects of imperial ambition... The Colonial Present is a refreshingly angry book, with all the geographical and historical scholarship to buttress its indictment of American, Israeli and British behavior around the world. It is exquisitely written... This book's screaming truths are must-read heresy."
Neil Smith, Los Angeles Times <!--end-->

"An impassioned plea by one of the world’s most eminent geographers to displace the distorted imaginative geographies that have so corrupted our representations of the Islamic world with a geographical imagination that enlarges and enhances our understandings. The long historical geography of the colonial encounter in the Middle East is here laid bare in all its twisted detail in order to comprehend the fractures underpinning contemporary political impasses in Palestine, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The Colonial Present is a ‘must read’ for all those concerned for peace and justice in our time.”
David Harvey, author of The New Imperialism

"The originality and profundity of Derek Gregory's The Colonial Present puts it at the top of my list."
Richard Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton; author most recently of The Great Terror War (2003)


“Brilliantly condenses the multiple geographies of colonialism ... so that their contemporary entanglements with the flexings of modern imperial power crackle with intensity. Using September 11 2001 as a political fulcrum, Gregory traces the searing effects of fluid but durable cartographies of violence in the intersecting wars in Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq.”
Cindi Katz, Graduate Centre, CityUniversity of New York


“Powerfully and persuasively argued. Passionately written. A daring, brilliant analysis … Quite simply the most significant book written by a geographer in some time.”
Allan Pred, University of California, Berkeley

The Colonial Present marshals concepts of imaginative geography and insight from the spatialisation of cultural and social theory developed in the past thirty years … An impassioned but theoretically rich critique of the ‘war on terror’ and the wider Zeitgeist that it shapes and embodies … Crucially, the book is a compelling critique of and American Empire … This is a significant book … Vintage Gregory again; enticing and provoking his audience … There is no doubting that The Colonial Present sets both standards and agendas.”
Environment and Planning D

"The Colonial Present is an important and politiclly engaged book."
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