Frantz Fanon by David Macey
A Biography

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Synopsis

Born in Martinique, Frantz Fanon (1925–61) trained as a psychiatrist in Lyon before taking up a post in colonial Algeria. He had already experienced racism as a volunteer in the Free French Army, in which he saw combat at the end of the Second World War. In Algeria, Fanon came into contact with the Front de Libération Nationale, whose ruthless struggle for independence was met with exceptional violence from the French forces. He identified closely with the liberation movement, and his political sympathies eventually forced him out the country, whereupon he became a propagandist and ambassador for the FLN, as well as a seminal anticolonial theorist.

David Macey’s eloquent life of Fanon provides a comprehensive account of a complex individual’s personal, intellectual and political development. It is also a richly detailed depiction of postwar French culture. Fanon is revealed as a flawed and passionate humanist deeply committed to eradicating colonialism.

Now updated with new historical material, Frantz Fanon remains the definitive biography of a truly revolutionary thinker.
 

About David Macey

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David Macey is the author of The Lives of Michel Foucault and Frantz Fanon: A Biography.
 
Published November 13, 2012 by Verso. 672 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Frantz Fanon

Kirkus Reviews

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A biography of the Caribbean-born French psychiatrist-turned-revolutionary whose angry books (Black Skin White Mask, The Wretched of the Earth) and inflammatory speeches furthered the cause of Algerian independence and African nationalism in the 1950s.

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The New York Times

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When the third world was the great hope of the international left -- three very long decades ago, in other words -- no book had a more seductive mystique than ''The Wretched of the Earth.'' Its author, Frantz Fanon, was a psychiatrist, originally from Martinique, who had become a spokesman for th...

Sep 02 2001 | Read Full Review of Frantz Fanon: A Biography

The Guardian

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This is the case with David Macey's biography of Frantz Fanon, the man who passionately articulated the cause of Algerian independence and excoriated French racism in his The Year V of the Algerian Revolution (1959) and The Wretched of the Earth (1961).

Jan 13 2001 | Read Full Review of Frantz Fanon: A Biography

Publishers Weekly

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(Fanon described the book as a study in "language and aggressivity.") Fanon's colossal shifts of registers (political, medical, poetic, sociological) in the book's phenomenology of racism are well explicated by Macey, who gives nuanced accounts of the African nationalist essays and books that fol...

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London Review of Books

Like other middle-class Martinicans, he was immersed in French culture and learning, ‘more French than the French’, but stepping onto French soil he discovered, with a sudden and irreversible shock (described powerfully in Black Skin, White Masks), that he was, in French eyes, nothing more than a...

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Project MUSE

She knew Fanon between 1955 and his death in 1961, the period when Fanon became an activist for Algerian independence.

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Project MUSE

For instance, he writes: “The crop of books and articles—and one film—on Fanon contains very little that is of relevance to a biographer, not least because they construct a Fanon who exists outside time and space and in a purely textual dimension” (27).

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Project MUSE

He marshals evidence to demonstrate that "Fanon proved to have a personal horror of violence" (461), thus affirming that "[t] here were other Frantz Fanons" (2): "The Fanon who advocated the use of violence in his Les Damnés de la terre [The Wretched of the Earth], which was published as he lay d...

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Project MUSE

Following Fanon from his 1925 birth in Martinique, through his medical education in France and his practice as a psychiatrist in Algeria, to his exile in Tunisia and death from leukemia in 1961, Macey presents the histories of multiple Fanons—writer, psychiatrist, and revolutionary—by situating ...

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