Frantz Fanon: A Critical Study by Irene L. Gendzier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am fortunate to have had Irene Gendzier as a graduate student advisor at Boston University and to be gifted this book by her when she retired. In an interesting twist of fate, I ended up finished it on a flight home from 2 weeks in Cuba.
While many people have read Wretched of the Earth and some Black Skin, White Masks, I think this book has interesting perspectives on both the strengths and influence on Fanon (particularly on Algeria) as well as his weaknesses and where he falls short. While the man has been deified for decades, its interesting to remember that he himself had distinct changes in thought and was heavily influenced by a range of struggles going on...some for which he didn't understand the full political situation. This is not to reduce the brilliance of his work, but to place him realistically in the situation in which he lived.
The particular questions on his critiques of the FLN are heavily covered in this as the revolution he so supported began to unravel in autocratic dictatorship. I recommend this book for anyone searching for the real Fanon and to examine questions of his thought that were not covered in his books. Filled with analysis and commentary from revolutionaries, and militants who knew him.... a very good read!
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