Written in celebration of Frantz Fanon's seventieth birthday, Lewis Gordon's Fanon and the Crisis of European Man engages with the work of Fanon in novel and interesting ways. As the first to analzye the work of Fanon as an existential-phenomenological of human sciences and liberation philosopher, Gordon deploys Fanon's work to illuminate how the "bad faith" of European science and civilization have philosophically stymied the project of liberation. Fanon's body of work serves as a critique of European science and society, and shows the ways in which the project of "truth" is compromised by Eurocentric artificially narrowed scope of humanity --a circumstance to which he refers as the crisis of European Man.
In his examination of the roots of this crisis, Gordon explores the problems of historical salvation and the dynamics of oppression, the motivation behind contemporary European obstruction of the advancement of a racially just world, the forms of anonymity that pervade racist theorizing and contribute to "seen invisibility," and the reasons behind the impossibility of a nonviolent transition from colonialism and neocolonialism to "post"colonialism.
Drawing on Fanon's existential phenomenology, his philosophical anthropology and his theories of violence, Gordon extends his analysis to a detailed discussion of the relationship between tragic literature and anti-colonial literature, revealing how Fanon's work is a passionate call for a more mature humanity.