I Dare Say

A Gerald Horne Reader



“A tour de force of historical excavation.” —Michael Eric Dyson, author, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America

“One of the great historians of our time . . . his revolutionary fervor is undeniable.” —Cornel West, public intellectual, author, Race Matters

“[Gerald Horne] demystifies and reveals History as a concentrated storyline of social struggles and transformative results.” —Danny Glover, citizen-artist, actor

“Reverberating with the cries of revolution.” —Claudine Michel, Editor, Journal of Haitian Studies

Praise for Race to Revolution:

“One cannot possibly understand the journey from bondage to freedom in America without wrestling with its consequences for the people of African descent in Cuba. Their story is our story, and thanks to Horne, we can now study its flow in a single, and profound, narrative.” —Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

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About the Book

I Dare Say: A Gerald Horne Reader is a timely and essential collection of the many works of Professor Gerald Horne—a historian who has made an indelible impact on the study of US and international history. Horne approaches his study of history as a deeply politically engaged scholar, with an insightful and necessarily partisan stance, critiquing the lasting reverberations of white supremacy and all its bedfellows—imperialism, colonialism, fascism and racism—which continue to wreak havoc in the United States and abroad to this day.

Drawing on a career that spans more than four decades, this sparkling reader showcases the many highlights of Horne’s writings, delving into discussions of the United States and its place on the global stage, the curation of mythology surrounding titans of 20th Century African American history like Malcolm X, and Horne’s thoughts on pressing international crises of the 21st Century including the war in Afghanistan during the early 2000s, and the war in Ukraine which erupted in February 2022.

As we continue to observe the chaos of our current times, I Dare Say: A Gerald Horne Reader foregrounds a firmly rooted, consistent analysis of what has come to pass—and provides illuminating insight that better informs where we may be headed, and outlines what needs to be done to stem the tide of growing fascism across the Western world.

290 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-68219-363-1 • E-book ISBN 978-1-68219-422-5


About the Author and Editor

Gerald Horne author photo

Photo © Kylis Winborne
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Gerald Horne is Moores Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston. His research has addressed issues of racism in a variety of fields including labor, politics, civil rights, international relations and war. Dr. Horne is the author of more than thirty books, including The Counter Revolution of 1836: Texas slavery & Jim Crow and the roots of American Fascism and The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism: The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy, and Capitalism in 17th Century North America and the Caribbean.

Tionne Alliyah Parris is a PhD candidate at the University of Hertfordshire who received a 1st Class Undergraduate degree and a Masters degree from the University of Dundee in Scotland. She is a specialist in African American history, and specifically in the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Her research is focused on American society’s response to race-based political protests—as well as Communist ideology within Black Radical protests.

Read an Excerpt

In the period before World War II, Japan was probably the nation most admired among African Americans. Du Bois, Garvey, Booker T. Washington, and others may have had conflicts among themselves, but all looked to Tokyo as evidence that modernity was not solely the province of those of European descent and that the very predicates of white supremacy made no sense.

This is an important point to consider for many reasons. Those who have focused on the appeal of the former Soviet Union to Americans need to consider that the choice was not necessarily between the herrenvolk democracy of the United States and the imperfect socialism of Moscow, but Imperial Japan was also considered as an alternative. Furthermore, historians have increasingly begun to point to external factors as a major reason for why Jim Crow began to crumble in the United States; this is usually put in the context of the Cold War, Soviet aid to African liberation movements, and the indisputable point that Washington had difficulty winning hearts and minds in Africa and elsewhere among the world’s majority as long as peoples of African descent were faced with Jim Crow. This focus on external factors as a cause for the erosion of Jim Crow is also important because it sheds light on why progress toward racial equality tends to flag when external pressure seems to lessen, for example, today. But in assessing this external factor, we must take into account the specter of Japan, particularly in the first four decades of the twentieth century, and not just the USSR from 1917 to 1991.

In addition, scholars on the left have been criticized for not treating race as an independent variable, as an unmediated factor. Bringing Japan into the equation suggests the difficulty of seeking to treat race as an independent variable, however, just as the fact that scholars doing historical research on race – even those examining the first four decades of the twentieth century – commit scholarly malpractice when they fail to take Tokyo into account.

To be fair, part of the difficulty in unravelling Japan’s influence is the reticence of European and Euro-American elites when it came to confronting the race question beyond the black-white dyad. For example, in fighting the inaugural war of U.S. imperialism – the war against the Philippines at the turn of the twentieth century – one general order of the U.S. Army declared that “such delicate subjects as…the race question, etc. will not be discussed at all except among ourselves officially.”[1] This trend continued during the Pacific War. Theodore White, one of the most highly regarded U.S. journalists of the twentieth century, acknowledged during his tenure in China during the war that “the ethic of the time forbade one from reporting in terms of race.”

Frank Furedi, who has authored one of the more salient books on race in recent years, writes that not only was there reticence, but, as well, “[It] is striking how little racist thinking was questioned before the Second World War. Even radical critics of imperialism were reluctant to criticize the racist justification for national expansion.” Referring mostly to Europe, he adds “It is striking to note how much more willing writers were to discuss class rather than race.” The fear of racial revenge, which, unlike class revenge, conceivably did not have limits, at least as far as Europeans were concerned, “was a major reason for this relative silence.”[2]

James Belich, the leading scholar of the titanic wars that led to a stalemate between the British invaders and the indigenous people of New Zealand, argued that as a result of this humbling episode, Great Britain resorted to its “final safety net,” which was “to forget.”[3]
John Dower writes,

If one asks Americans today in what ways World War II was racist and atrocious, they will point overwhelmingly to the Nazi genocide of the Jews. When the war was being fought, however, the enemy perceived to be most atrocious by Americans was not the Germans but the Japanese and the racial issues that provoked greatest emotion among Americans were associated with the war in Asia…Japan’s aggression stirred the deepest recesses of white [supremacy] and provoked a response bordering on the apocalyptic.[4]

The war with Japan awakened the idea of racial revenge, that Japanese in league with African Americans and other Asians would seek retribution for a racialized colonialism and imperialism. So provoked, European and Euro-American elites moved, even as the war was unfolding, to begin the reluctant and agonized retreat from apartheid, though like a child awakening from a nightmare, they largely chose to forget a major reason why they were taking this monumental step.


[1] Brian McAllister Lin, Guardians of Empire: The U.S. Army and the Pacific, 1902-1940 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), p.60

[2] Frank Furedi, The Silent War: Imperialism and the Changing Perception of Race (London: Pluto Press, 1998), p.164.

[3] Ibid., pp.6,101.

[4] James Belich, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (Auckland: Auckland University Press), pp.321,235.

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