samedi 19 février 2011

Frantz Fanon : A Biography, by David Macey

Born in Martinique, then as now a departement of France, Frantz Fanon (l925-61) trained as a psychiatrist in Lyons before taking up a post in colonial Algeria. He had already experienced racism as a soldier in the Free French Army, for which he had volunteered and in whose ranks he saw combat during the liberation of France. In Algeria, he came into contact with the Front de Liberation National whose ruthless struggle for an independent Algeria was met with quite exceptional violence by the French Army. Fanon identified completely with the FLN and soon became a marked man. Forced to flee Algeria when he resigned his post, Fanon subsequently worked with the FLN as a propagandist and ambassador.

Based on extensive and original research, this is the most compete and objective biography of Fanon yet written. It sweeps away the myths that have grown up around him and reveals Fanon to be a complex figure, infinitely more interesting than the theorist of anti-colonial violence celebrated by the left in the 60s. Macey shows Fanon to have been a man formed in the context of the French Caribbean, with its history of slavery and racism, and traces Fanon's intellectual career as a political thinker and psychiatrist with great care, setting it against the background of post-war French culture.

David Macey has done justice for the first time to the extraordinary life of a complex figure, flawed in some respects but fundamentally a humanist committed to the eradication of colonialism, a man whose angry and eloquent writings are still of fierce relevance today.

David Macey has translated some twenty books from the French. He is the author of Lacan in Context, the acclaimed The Lives of Michel Foucault, and The Penguin Dictionary of Critical Theory. He lives in Leeds, England.

Picador, June 2002
ISBN: 978-0-312-30042-5, ISBN10: 0-312-30042-5, 
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 656 pages, Includes 8 maps,

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