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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jo Smith Finley
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Africanist Basil Davidson is widely believed to have helped change the view of African civilisations as “backward” to one that saw Africa as sophisticated. Yet despite being renowned for an intellectual rigour developed as an investigative reporter, it is questionable whether Davidson brings the same objective gaze to newly “liberated” Xinjiang in the early years of China's socialist revolution. In Turkestan Alive (1957), he undergoes a personal revolutionary voyage. An idealist with deep left-wing sympathies, Davidson seems to meet and quote only individuals with a success story to tell, the result of his dependence on translation and a series of linguistic and political intermediaries. The picture painted is thus largely one the author's embrace of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) policies of socialist construction, so that Davidson ultimately emerges as a willing conduit for the Chinese revolution.
Author(s): Smith Finley J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Studies in Travel Writing
Online publication date: 02/12/2014
Date deposited: 12/05/2015
ISSN (print): 1364-5145
ISSN (electronic): 1755-7550
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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