In Steven S. Lee’s The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Minority Cultures and World Revolution, the critical category of the ethnic avant-garde promises to help organize our understanding of artistic innovation and revolutionary politics across time and space and through racial and ethnic identities. Moreover, the category offers hope for reimagining political radicalism in our conflict-ridden present.

The book recenters modernism from Western Europe to Eastern Europe, from Paris to Moscow, and from Beijing to San Francisco. The author uses the avant-garde to signify both a new sociopolitical model that would incorporate ethnicity into radicalism and an artistic experiment that would have long-lasting impact. Lee uses images...

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