The Wretched of the Earth (Frantz Fanon)

  “Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions."

“Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions."

Martinique / 1961

Fanon was one of the first to break down colonization's psychological effects on the individual. This groundbreaking book radically illuminated the true scope of colonization's evil, thus offering a wider understanding of the violence it inflicted upon whole nations—and individual people. 

It took me THREE weeks to get through Fanon! Not sure if that is a testament to my poor intellect, or to Fanon's genius. This book says the same thing a thousand different ways. If you feel inclined to read it, I recommend definitely reading Sartre's preface, and then go up to page 100. Then skim the rest, and then read the conclusion. I promise you'll be good. This book is commonly referred to as "the handbook on decolonization." Yes, I'll give it that. Fanon describes the different mechanisms and class anxieties surrounding nation-building. He ultimately says that Africa must totally depart from Europe, in terms of everything: culture. economics, politics, etc. Fanon advises new African nations to plan their futures with a blank-slate mindset, instead of relying on outdated colonial methods of ruling (of which has unfortunately sprouted dictators and corrupt leaders). This book made me think of how colonialism in Africa not only crippled many nations' pasts and presents, but also their futures.