Migration, terrorism, the tensions between global capitalism and nationalism, and a communications revolution: these forces shaped Joseph Conrad’s destiny at the dawn of the twentieth century. In this brilliant new interpretation of one of the great voices in modern literature, Maya Jasanoff reveals Conrad as a prophet of globalization. As an immigrant from Poland to England, and in travels from Malaya to Congo to the Caribbean, Conrad navigated an interconnected world, and captured it in a literary oeuvre of extraordinary depth. His life story delivers a history of globalization from the inside out, and reflects powerfully on the aspirations and challenges of the modern world.
Joseph Conrad was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857, to Polish parents in the Russian Empire. At sixteen he left the landlocked heart of Europe to become a sailor, and for the next twenty years travelled the world’s oceans before settling permanently in England as an author. He saw the surging, competitive “new imperialism” that planted a flag in almost every populated part of the globe. He got a close look, too, at the places “beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines,” and the hypocrisy of the west’s most cherished ideals.
In a compelling blend of history, biography, and travelogue, Maya Jasanoff follows Conrad’s routes and the stories of his four greatest works—The Secret Agent, Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness, and Nostromo. Genre-bending, intellectually thrilling, and deeply humane, The Dawn Watch embarks on a spell-binding expedition into the dark heart of Conrad’s world—and through it to our own.
At the end of the American Revolution, sixty thousand Americans loyal to
the British cause fled the United States and became refugees throughout
the British Empire. This groundbreaking book offers the first global
history of the loyalist exodus to Canada, the Caribbean, Sierra Leone,
India, and beyond. Following extraordinary journeys like the one of
Elizabeth Johnston, a young mother from Georgia, who led her growing
family to Britain, Jamaica, and Canada, questing for a home; black
loyalists such as David George, who escaped from slavery in Virginia and
went on to found Baptist congregations in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone;
and Mohawk Indian leader Joseph Brant, who tried to find autonomy for
his people in Ontario, Liberty’s Exiles challenges conventional
understandings about the founding of the United States and the shaping
of the postrevolutionary world. Based on original research on four
continents, this book is at once an intimate narrative history and a
provocative new analysis—a story about the past that helps us think
about migration, tolerance, and liberty in the world today.