Anti-Imperialist Modernism: Race and Transnational Radical by Benjamin Balthaser

By Benjamin Balthaser

Anti-Imperialist Modernism excavates how U.S. cross-border, multi-ethnic anti-imperialist activities at mid-century formed what we comprehend as cultural modernism and the historic interval of the good melancholy. The ebook demonstrates how U.S. multiethnic cultural activities, situated in political events, small journals, hard work unions, and struggles for racial liberation, helped build a standard feel of overseas harmony that critiqued principles of nationalism and essentialized racial identification. The e-book hence strikes past bills that experience tended to view the pre-war “Popular entrance” via tropes of nationwide belonging or an abandonment of the cosmopolitanism of past a long time. amazing archival examine brings to gentle the ways that a transnational imaginative and prescient of modernism and modernity was once shaped via anti-colonial networks of North/South cohesion. Chapters study farmworker photographers in California’s crucial valley, a Nez Perce highbrow touring to the Soviet Union, imaginations of the Haitian Revolution, the reminiscence of the U.S.–Mexico warfare, and U.S. radical writers touring to Cuba. The final bankruptcy examines how the chilly conflict foreclosed those events inside a nationalist framework, whilst activists and intellectuals needed to suppress the transnational nature in their pursuits, usually rewriting the cultural prior to comply to a patriotic narrative of nationwide belonging.

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James, Américo Paredes, W. E. B. DuBois, and Carlos Bulo- Introduction • 25 san. In the first half the 20th century, Communist parties, left unions, socialist publications, and other radical organizations provided the structure as well as the capital necessary to facilitate publications and arrange for travels; they also provided an intellectual paradigm in which to locate oneself within a global world. ”85 And yet socialist internationalism, with its emphasis on working-­class movements, relations among states, and seizing state power, cannot necessarily account for or adequately describe the multiple hybrid points of identity shaped by migrant flows, contact zones, borderlands, or the way in which the unequal relationship between colony and center is key to the production of identity.

Such a consistent and pervasive revision of the Popular Front not only reinforced state department and FBI suppression of left-­ wing internationalism, it reframed a particular memory of one of the most constitutive features of the Popular Front imaginary. 98 By “remembering” the Popular Front as a lost Lincoln Republic, a reactionary figure such as Ronald Reagan may invoke heartland populism in the name of a more aggressive security and military state. 99 In the context of Cold War repression, we can take such works as Michael Denning’s Cultural Front, Barbara Foley’s Radical Representations, and Robin Kelley’s Hammer and Hoe as not merely new theories on the long 1930s, but the construction of a new archive, the interruption of the process of historical narrative.

Even left-­wing filmmakers such as Orson Welles recast anti-­imperialist bonds of solidarity in films such as Touch of Evil and The Lady from Shanghai as sites of danger and/or forbidden desire. 97 One of the most surprising examples—­if not the most telling—­was blacklisted filmmakers Herbert Biberman and Paul Jarrico’s heavily redacted Salt of Earth. A film that documents a miners’ strike at the peak of the Cold War, it represents the resistance of a Mexican American community to the racism, sexism, and class oppression intensified by the onset of the Cold War’s emergent security state.

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