Hannah Arendt (1906–1975) first argued that there were continuities between the age of European imperialism and the age of fascism in Europe in The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). She claimed that theories of race, notions of racial and cultural superiority, and the right of 'superior races' to expand territorially were themes that connected the white settler colonies, the other imperial possessions, and the fascist ideologies of post-Great War Europe. These claims have rarely been taken up by historians. Only in recent years has the work of scholars such as Jurgen Zimmerer and A. Dirk Moses begun to show in some detail that Arendt was correct.
This collection does not seek merely to expound Arendt's opinions on these subjects; rather, it seeks to use her insights as the jumping-off point for further investigations – including ones critical of Arendt – into the ways in which race, imperialism, slavery and genocide are linked, and the ways in which these terms have affected the United States, Europe, and the colonised world.