Are the "culture wars" over? What is their relationship to gender struggle and the dynamics of class? Gayatari Spivak poses these questions and attempts to understand and describe a more responsible role for the postcolonial critic, tracking the figure of the "native informant" through various cultural practices - philosophy, history, literature - to suggest that it emerges as the metropolitan hybrid. The text addresses feminists, philosophers, critics, and interventionist intellectuals, as they unite and divide. It ranges from Kant's analytic of the sublime to child labour in Bangladesh. Throughout, the notion of a Third World interloper as the pure victim of a colonialist oppressor emerges as sharply suspect: the mud we sling at certain seemingly overbearing ancestors such as Marx and Kant may be the very ground we stand on.