Historian Guillaume Blanc tells the story of the liberation of nations from the yoke of colonialism, avoiding the dilemma of integrating different positions into a generalized scheme.
Like in the last documentary Decolonization Operations Written by Karim Mesky, Marc Paul and Pierre Singaravello, Guillaume Blanc’s book chronicles decolonization from the first day of colonialism. However, make no mistake about it: for the most part, the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are in question here, the author seeks, even today, to follow the way in which various colonized peoples liberated themselves from the situations that arose. in the last century.
“Fact Stories”says Guillaume Blanc, interpreting in his own way the famous article which Georges Balander dedicated in 1951 to Colonial situation. The formula invites us to look at the history of recent European colonization other than the history of the empires themselves, even by comparing them, and beyond the history of the two continents, Africa and Asia, which are most interested.
get out of generalities
Each decolonization was in fact a special case, and if we put on the same level of different accounts as those of South Africa, Algeria, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Pakistan – to limit ourselves to the cases analyzed most often in the book – we risk abandoning history as it happened Already in favor of general theories whose harmful effects are obvious. Not only “Themed Stories” proposed by Guillaume Blanc has the great advantage of not reducing Africa and Asia to the same other, but it allows us to reflect on the diversity of historical forms rather than the grand, unified narratives of European expansion (which these accounts denounce or defend).
We can regret that Guillaume Blanc did not include in his analyzes the fifty or so documents that accompany the book. When it is suggested to read Congo By Eric Vuillard For example, as a counterpoint to the study of the Belgian Congo, we would like to illustrate the difference between the vision proposed by the novelist and the reality of facts established by historiography. With that reservation, here is a book based on a modern bibliography, borrowed from history as much as it is from political science and postcolonial studies, which will be useful to all those who finally want to move beyond generalities about decolonization.
William White decolonization processes. Stories from Africa and Asia (19th-20th centuries)“History” points, 530 pages, 11.90 euros.