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Rewriting Exodus

Rewriting Exodus

American Futures from Du Bois to Obama

Anna Hartnell

Series: Decolonial Studies, Postcolonial Horizons

New ways of thinking about the US relationship with the postcolonial world

Exodus, as a powerful narrative of liberation, has been a central imaginative touchstone in the black American struggle against US racism. This book traces the concept in a number of pivotal black thinkers, and explores its signficance for contemporary America.

The exodus story is a fitting allegory for the painful experience of exile that disproportionately afflicted African Americans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and it also provides compelling imagery for the triumphant election of Barack Obama in 2008. Building around these themes, Anna Hartnell traces the intellectual development of one of the defining narratives of black American thinking on social justice in the United States.

In placing black America at the centre of the study of US culture, Rewriting Exodus suggests new ways of thinking about America's relationship with the Middle East and the wider postcolonial world. Hartnell's groundbreaking contribution marks a vital new chapter in American cultural and political history.

Anna Hartnell is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck College, University of London. She is the author of Rewriting Exodus (Pluto, 2011).

'This important, smartly written, and insightful study facilitates deeper understanding of why President Barack Obama's election failed to reconcile fundamental fissures in American society' - Darlene Clark Hine, Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies & Professor of History, Northwestern University Chair, Department of African American Studies, Northwestern University

Acknowledgements
Introduction – Rewriting Exodus
1. Re-reading America: Barack Obama
2. Double Consciousness and the Master/Slave Dialectic: W.E.B. Du Bois
3. Excavating the Promised Land: Martin Luther King
4. Reclaiming ‘Egypt’: Malcolm X
5. Transcending the Nation: Toni Morrison’s Paradise
Conclusion - Exodus and Return in Post-Katrina New Orleans
Notes
Bibliography
index
Published by Pluto Press in May 2011
Paperback ISBN: 9780745329550
Hardcover ISBN: 9780745329567

304 pages

135mm x 215mm