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The New Age of Empire Reviews

The New Age of Empire by Kehinde Andrews

The New Age of Empire

How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World

Kehinde Andrews

2.75 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Allen Lane
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication date: 4 Feb 2021
ISBN: 9780241437445
2 stars out of 5
8 Feb 2021

"K ehinde Andrews’s new book is a fantastical journey through a parallel universe; or at least that’s what it reads like"

The gall of these people, making better lives for themselves and buying things, how very dare they? They ought to know their place, otherwise people like Andrews will have no more victims to write about. He also has the audacity to write “Racism frames life” in the 21st century, “just as fundamentally as it did during the eras of slavery and direct colonization”.  

While his aim is to “trace how White supremacy has been maintained”, he never stops to consider whether it even has. Spoiler alert: it has not. There is still work to be done on stamping out racism, but we’ve come a long way - and this book does nothing to advance that cause.


3 stars out of 5
Ashish Ghadiali
2 Feb 2021

"It’s not a book without its shortcomings. It reflects but never surpasses its sources"

He does, however, provide readers with a solid grounding in the 500-year history of racial capitalism – the enduring significance of the genocide of Native Americans, the transatlantic slave trade and European colonialism – as he works, convincingly, to reveal the “colonial logic and neocolonialism” still at play in the workings of contemporary global institutions such as the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO... It’s not a book without its shortcomings. It reflects but never surpasses its sources; nor does it adequately live up to the promise of its premise, since the “new age” Andrews evokes, focused on a critique of neoliberalism’s transnational institutions, might have felt groundbreaking 20 years ago alongside the publication of Naomi Klein’s No Logo (1999), for example, or Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire (2000), but feels now, in this new era of global crisis, distinctly retro.

3 stars out of 5
23 Jan 2021

"His polemical fury could perhaps sustain his case in a morning-time TV debate, but he is completely exposed in a book"

Andrews is certainly right to point out the historical atrocities carried out by western nations, practices justified by people who otherwise preached tolerance. His criticisms of the loans provided by the IMF and World Bank to African countries also needs to be taken into account for those of us who want a fairer world. But when he says the West cannot be the solution to the problem of racism, and then bemoans westerners for failing to apply universal standards, he disqualifies himself as a serious thinker. Either the West is rotten to the core and can do nothing; or it is shameful for failing to live up to its moral standards.