Because of the Oregon rains there wasn’t much else to do but read this spring break. Oh yeah – and I don’t even get spring break! So I grabbed a copy of The Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World (New Press People’s History) by Prashad. Light reading – not. Kind of like reading Kierkegaard. But much more fascinating – but equally depressing. Like Howard Zinn’s A Peoples History of the United States, this book takes you on a whirlwind eyeopening tour of history they hid from you in high school -and quite possibly college, too. Prashad covers the “Third World” from the end of outright colonization to the massively international debt ridden mess we have now. Prashad marshals his “facts” through the last century using a different country for each chapter as a way to organize otherwise completely overwhelming amounts of research. Each chapter builds on the previous – and exposes the “creation” of the third world – which happens to include the “darker nations”, and their continual betrayal & exploitation by the “First World”. Prashad points out that there was little support from what was the “Second World”.
My “takeaway” from this massive book was there has been a lot more “bad” things done to the “Darker Nations” than I had realized. I understand better all the “tin dictators” who are starting to fall today. I sadly realize the role of the United States in continuing the oppression and sabotaging so many promising attempts at true democracy. The book ends with the failure of the Third World’s agenda and attempt to free themselves from the debt of colonialism. However, the events throughout the middle east in the last few months are encouraging – maybe there is a chance yet.
Note – recently I watched the movie “Inside Job”, and realize the movie has similarities to this book: mainly the amount of information that is presented and marshaled, and the fact that the problems addressed by each come from the same source – the new “Economic System” of the world.
Multnomah County Library 909.09724 P911d 2007