Culture and Imperialism

Culture And Imperialism

Culture and Imperialism

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Culture and Imperialism is the 1993 sequel to Edward Said's highly influential book Orientalism from 1978.


In a series of essays, Said argues the impact of mainstream culture (mainly British writers from the 19th and early 20th century, like Jane Austen and Rudyard Kipling) on colonialism and imperialism. The title is thought to be a reference to two older works, Culture and Anarchy (1859) by Matthew Arnold and Culture and Society (1958) by Raymond Williams.

Said argues that, although the "age of empire" largely ended after World War II, when most colonies gained independence, imperialism continues to exert considerable cultural influence in the present. To be aware of this fact, it is necessary, according to Said, to look at how colonialists and imperialists has employed "culture" to control distant land and peoples.


Edward Said was considered "one of the most important literary critics and philosophers of the late 20th century". Culture and Imperialism was hailed as long-awaited and seen as a direct successor to his main work, Orientalism. While the New York Times review notes the book's heavy resemblance to a collection of lectures, it concludes that "Yet that telegraphic style does not finally mar...
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