Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers

Arundhati Roy, Author Haymarket Books $20 (253p) ISBN 978-1-60846-024-3
Genocide, denial, and truth-as-a-victim are just a few of the big subjects dealt with by Booker prize-winning Indian author and activist Roy (The God of Small Things) in this essay collection, written with fluid precision and acute rage. Covering rampant injustices in India and Kashmir perpetrated by governments and corporations, most in the past decade, Roy is unfailingly eloquent, sorting through a complicated network of special interests and partisan governmental groups to reveal nuances of corruption and oppression even to non-nationals. Roy worries that ""the space for nonviolent civil disobedience has atrophied,"" but finds hope and joy in developments including the ""hundreds of thousands of unarmed people"" returning to Kashmir ""to reclaim their cities, their streets and mohallas,"" and a generation raised in ""army camps, check-posts, and bunkers, with screams from torture chambers for a sound track"" who have ""discovered the power of mass protest and, above all, the dignity of being able to... speak for themselves."" Roy details genocide instigated by Hindu interests against Muslims, revisits the recent Mumbai massacre, and pleads the people's case as vast rural areas are drained of resources while the Indian ruling class concentrates on corporate globalization. The Bush administration also comes in for scathing criticism in this vivid inside look at India's turbulent growth.
Reviewed on: 09/29/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-60846-117-2
Ebook - 230 pages - 978-1-60846-005-2
Paperback - 230 pages - 978-1-60846-327-5
Ebook - 230 pages - 978-1-60846-353-4
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-60846-461-6
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