Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today

Vijay Prashad. New Press (Perseus, dist.), $21.95 (208p) ISBN 978-1-59558-784-8
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As Trinity College’s South Asian history professor Prashad (The Karma of Brown Folk) writes, for South Asian–Americans, “the miasma of international relations interrupts our lives constantly.” His latest begins by illustrating the ways in which Islamophobia and hate crimes ran rife against South Asians after 9/11—tensions exacerbated by outsourced jobs and the growing unemployment rate. Random screenings on mass transit, mistaken detainment, and deportation are among the trials this population faced under legislation like the Patriot Act. To rectify the misinformation, Prashad explains how immigration policy and labor laws shaped South Asian culture, from the prolific rise of the Patels in the hotel industry to indentured servitude in post-Katrina New Orleans. In addition, he traces the rise of South Asian political activism from WWI through the 9/11 attacks that pressured South Asians to unite across disparate cultural and religious lines. Prashad impressively shows how culture and community are intrinsically tied to politics, while addressing nuances in a culture often marginalized by the media. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/30/2012
Release date: 06/01/2012
Paperback - 196 pages - 978-1-59558-940-8
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-59558-801-2
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