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The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global Southby Vijay Prashad
Synopses & Reviews
In The Darker Nations, Vijay Prashad provided an intellectual history of the Third World and traced the rise and fall of the Non-Aligned Movement. With The Poorer Nations, Prashad takes up the story where he left off.
Since the ’70s, the countries of the Global South have struggled to build political movements. Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the rise of the BRICS countries, the World Social Forum, issuebased movements like Via Campesina, the Latin American revolutionary revival—in short, efforts to create alternatives to the neoliberal project advanced militarily by the US and its allies and economically by the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and other instruments of the powerful. Just as The Darker Nations asserted that the Third World was a project, not a place, The Poorer Nations sees the Global South as a term that properly refers not to geographical space but to a concatenation of protests against neoliberalism.
In his foreword to the book, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali writes that Prashad “has helped open the vista on complex events that preceded today’s global situation and standoff.” The Poorer Nations looks to the future while revising our sense of the past.
"This exhaustively documented work of economic and diplomatic history analyzes hemispheric inequality between the wealthy industrialized north and the 'global south' (less-developed nations that are emerging from their postcolonial economic torpor), and challenges the 'tireless and heartless cycle' of the modern capitalist economy. Prashad (The Darker Nations), a Trinity College South Asian history professor, angrily indicts the capitalist bloc of the North. He focuses his study on the U.N. committees and nongovernmental organizations that challenge the established economic order through conferences, communiquÃ©s, and resolutions from the 1970s to the present. Prashad astutely pegs the rise of the so-called BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) as an upending factor in the current North-South economic alignment, but notes that they are more interested in joining the neoliberal regime than altering it. A lengthy, laudatory section on Venezuela under Hugo Chavez fails to address many of the dispiriting aspects of his authoritarian rule, both economic and political, and leaves Prashad's righteous agenda (which is better suited to academics and specialists) grounded less in reality than in sympathetic ideology." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A truly global history that examines the prospects of a worldwide power shift from North to South.
In The Darker Nations, Vijay Prashad provided an intellectual history of the Third World and told the story of the rise and fall of the Non-Aligned Movement.
With The Poorer Nations, Prashad takes up the story where he left it. Since the '70s, the countries of the Global South have struggled to express themselves politically. Prashad analyzes the failures of neoliberalism, as well as the rise of the BRIC countries, the Group of 12, the World Social Forum, the Latin American revolutionary revival--in short, all the efforts to create alternatives to the neoliberal project advanced militarily by the US and its allies, among whom number the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, and other economic instruments of the powerful. A true global history, The Poorer Nations is informed by interviews with leading players such as senior UN officials, as well as Prashad's pioneering research into archives of the Julius Nyerere-led South Commission.
About the Author
VIJAY PRASHAD is the George and Martha Kellner Professor of South Asian History and the director of international studies at Trinity College, Connecticut. He is the author of a number of books, including The Darker Nations: a People's History of the Third World and Arab Spring, Libyan Winter.
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