"Imperial Leather" chronicles the dangerous liaisons between gender, race and class that shaped British imperialism and its bloody dismantling. Spanning the century between Victorian Britain and the current struggle for power in South Africa, the book takes up the complex relationships between race and sexuality, fetishism and money, gender and violence, domesticity and the imperial market, and the gendering of nationalism within the zones of imperial and anti-imperial power.
Anne McClintock explores the sexualizing of the "terra incognita, " the imperial myth of the empty lands, the dirt fetish and the "civilizing mission," sexuality and labor, advertising and commodity racism, the Victorian invention of the idle woman, feminism and racial difference, and anti-apartheid culture in the current transformation of national power.
Using feminist, post-colonial, psychoanalytic and socialist theories, "Imperial Leather" argues that the categories of gender, race and class do not exist in isolation, but emerge in intimate relation to one another. Drawing on diverse cultural forms--novels, advertising, diaries, poetry oral history, and mass commodity spectacle--the book examines imperialism not only as a poetics of ambivalence, but as a politics of violence. Rejecting traditional binaries of self/other, man/woman, colonizer/colonized, Anne McClintock calls instead for a more informed and complex understanding of catgories of social power and identity.
"The author and Routledge are to be congratulated on a big, beautiful book that many students of the history of sexuality will find alluring."
-"Journal of the History of Sexuality
""Imperial Leather is what an academic book ought to be: intelligent, informed, socially committed, engaged, and engaging."
-"Women's Review of Books
""Imperial Leather is a wonderful book."
-"Women's Review of Books
"McClintock's magisterial study...is a daring articulation of the race-class-gender triad."
"Anne McClintock's "Imperial Leather takes a prominent place among a number of recent works...that question the relegation of the imperial enterprise to the back benches of the Victorian sensibility....Ms. McClintock's astute reading of novels, diaries, and advertisements, among other sources, demonstrates how images of domestic life can be incorporated into an ideology of imperial domination."
-"The New York Times Book Review
Tertiary; University or College
For Ages: 18 years old
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: 6th July 1995
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 16.51
Weight (kg): 0.79
Edition Number: 1