Discourse on the Extinction of Primitive Races, 1800-1930
By (author) Patrick Brantlinger
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Dark Vanishings by Patrick Brantlinger
Book DescriptionPatrick Brantlinger here examines the commonly held nineteenth-century view that all "primitive" or "savage" races around the world were doomed sooner or later to extinction. Warlike propensities and presumed cannibalism were regarded as simultaneously noble and suicidal, accelerants of the downfall of other races after contact with white civilization. Brantlinger finds at the heart of this belief the stereotype of the self-exterminating savage, or the view that "savagery" is a sufficient explanation for the ultimate disappearance of "savages" from the grand theater of world history. Humanitarians, according to Brantlinger, saw the problem in the same terms of inevitability (or doom) as did scientists such as Charles Darwin and Thomas Henry Huxley as well as propagandists for empire such as Charles Wentworth Dilke and James Anthony Froude. Brantlinger analyzes the Irish Famine in the context of ideas and theories about primitive races in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. He shows that by the end of the nineteenth century, especially through the influence of the eugenics movement, extinction discourse was ironically applied to "the great white race" in various apocalyptic formulations. With the rise of fascism and Nazism, and with the gradual renewal of aboriginal populations in some parts of the world, by the 1930s the stereotypic idea of "fatal impact" began to unravel, as did also various more general forms of race-based thinking and of social Darwinism.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801488764
(229mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Cornell University Press
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publish Date: 24-Jul-2003
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Patrick Brantlinger
Taming Cannibals, Hardback (September 2011)
Brantlinger unravels contradictions embedded in the racist and imperialist ideology of the British Empire.
Victorian Literature and Postcolonial Studies, Hardback (February 2009)
This book surveys the impact of the British Empire on nineteenth-century British literature from a postcolonial perspective.
Companion to the Victorian Novel, Paperback (February 2005)
Presents information about the range of British fiction published between 1837 and 1901. This work explains issues such as Victorian religions, class structure and Darwinism. It is suitable for students and researchers seeking coverage of contexts and trends, or as a starting point for a survey course.
Who Killed Shakespeare?, Paperback (August 2001)» View all books by Patrick Brantlinger
This provocative look inside the ivory tower is required reading for anyone who thinks he or she knows what's at stake in the modern university.
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Author Biography - Patrick Brantlinger
Patrick Brantlinger is James Rudy Professor of English (Emeritus) at Indiana University. He is the author of many books, including Dark Vanishings, Fictions of State, Rule of Darkness, and Bread and Circuses, all from Cornell.
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