Donna V. Jones shows how Henri Bergson, Friedrich Nietzsche, and the poets Leopold Senghor and Aime Cesaire fashioned the
concept of life into a central aesthetic and metaphysical category, while also implicating it in discourses on race and nation.
Jones argues that twentieth-century vitalism cannot be understood separately from these racial and anti-Semitic discussions.
She also illustrates how some dominant models of emancipation within black thought become intelligible only when in dialogue
with the vitalist tradition. Jones's study strikes at the core of contemporary critical theory, integrating these older discourses
into larger critical frameworks, and she traces the ways in which vitalism continues to draw from and contribute to its making.