The Darker Nations

A People's History of the Third World

The landmark alternative history of the Cold War from the perspective of the Global South, reissued in paperback with a new introduction by the author

“Vijay Prashad is our own Frantz Fanon. His writing of protest is always tinged with the beauty of hope.” —Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana

Winner, 2008 Asian American Writers Workshop Best Nonfiction Book of the Year
Winner, Muzaffar Ahmad Book Prize

In this award-winning investigation into the overlooked history of the Third World—with a new preface by the author for its fifteenth anniversary—internationally renowned historian Vijay Prashad conjures what Publishers Weekly calls “a vital assertion of an alternative future.” The Darker Nations, praised by critics as a welcome antidote to apologists for empire, has defined for a generation of scholars, activists, and dreamers what it is to imagine a more just international order and continues to offer lessons for the radical political projects of today.

With the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the rise of India and China on the global scene, this paradigm-shifting book of groundbreaking scholarship helps us envision the future of the Global South by restoring to memory the vibrant though flawed idea of the Third World whose demise, Prashad ultimately argues, has produced an impoverished and asymmetrical international political arena. No other book on the Third World—as a utopian idea and a global movement—can speak so effectively and engagingly to our troubled times.


“Darker nations, brighter nations: this book helps to uncover the shining worlds hidden under official history and dominant media.”
—Eduardo Galeano
The Darker Nations is the first comprehensive political history of the Third World as a concept and as a project. It is essential background for rethinking this history and constructing a viable political program today.”
—Immanuel Wallerstein
“A wonderful, thoughtful, and stimulating book.”
—Paul Gilroy
“Vijay Prashad is one of the great radical intellectuals of our times, and this book is essential reading for militants everywhere.”
—Irvin Jim, general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA)
“A global romp . . . filled with revealing anecdotes . . . [and] a handy alternative history of our planet in the post-World War II era.”
—Amit Pal, The Progressive
“Why isn’t everybody astonished and inspired by the Third World Project? Prashad traces the creative connection of many specific struggles through solidarity forged by way of conferences and institutions, parties and revolutions. Though The Darker Nations charts the historical geography of a future that did not survive its adversaries, this lively book inspires curiosity about the here and now. Around the world people energize remnant infrastructures and fresh formations with shape, stretch, purpose, and so much beauty.”
—Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Abolition Geography

Books by Vijay Prashad

On Cuba
Reflections on 70 Years of Revolution and Struggle

Noam Chomsky, Vijay Prashad

The Withdrawal
Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power

Noam Chomsky, Vijay Prashad

Uncle Swami
South Asians in America Today

Vijay Prashad

Goodreads Reviews