This expansive history of Black political thought shows us the origins—and the echoes—of anticolonial liberation on a global scale.
On the Scale of the World examines the reverberations of anticolonial ideas that spread across the Atlantic between the two world wars. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Black intellectuals in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean established theories of colonialism and racism as structures that must be understood, and resisted, on a global scale. In this richly textured book, Musab Younis gathers the work of writers and poets, journalists and editors, historians and political theorists whose insights speak urgently to contemporary movements for liberation.
Bringing together literary and political texts from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, France, the United States, and elsewhere, Younis excavates a vibrant and understudied tradition of international political thought. From the British and French colonial occupations of West Africa to the struggles of African Americans, the hypocrisy of French promises of 'assimilation,' and the many-sided attacks on the sovereignties of Haiti, Liberia, and Ethiopia, On the Scale of the World shows how racialized imperialism provoked critical responses across the interwar Black Atlantic. By transcending the boundaries of any single imperial system, these counternarratives of global order enabled new ways of thinking about race, nation, and empire.
About the Author
Musab Younis is Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London.
"Extremely well-documented. . . . it allow[s] the reader to come across and enjoy nuggets of history that Younis has excavated, but it also proves just how un-new current debates around class solidarity, gender, Whiteness, provincialism v internationalism actually are." — Race & Class
"A]n excellent study. The originality of the book’s construction is all the more impressive considering how many studies of Black Atlantic thought we already have at hand". — Jacobin
“In his examination of the Black Atlantic, Younis creates one of the most comprehensive treatments of postcolonialists in one text. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” — Choice Reviews
"The book is a deeply probing venture into the idea of the world from the viewpoint of pan-African emancipatory movements, asking, among other things, what it means to reject globality as a domain for the privileged." — Ethnic and Third World Literatures