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FROM THE BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF MY SEDITIOUS HEART AND THE MINISTRY OF UTMOST HAPPINESS, A NEW AND PRESSING DISPATCH FROM THE HEART OF THE CROWD AND THE SOLITUDE OF A WRITER’S DESK
The chant of ‘Azadi!’ – Urdu for ‘Freedom!’ – is the slogan of the freedom struggle in Kashmir against what Kashmiris see as the Indian Occupation. Ironically, it also became the chant of millions on the streets of India against the project of Hindu Nationalism.
Even as Arundhati Roy began to ask what lay between these two calls for Freedom – a chasm or a bridge? – the streets fell silent. Not only in India, but all over the world. The Coronavirus brought with it another, more terrible understanding of Azadi, making a nonsense of international borders, incarcerating whole populations, and bringing the modern world to a halt like nothing else ever could.
In this series of electrifying essays, Arundhati Roy challenges us to reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world of growing authoritarianism.
The essays include meditations on language, public as well as private, and on the role of fiction and alternative imaginations in these disturbing times. The pandemic, she says, is a portal between one world and another. For all the illness and devastation it has left in its wake, it is an invitation to the human race, an opportunity, to imagine another world.
EK AAM AADMI KA TASAWAR-E-SALTANAT
Just in time for the elections, Arundhati Roy offers us this lucid briefing on what the Bush administration really means when it talks about compassionate conservativism and the war on terror. Roy has characteristic fun in these essays, skewering the hypocrisy of the more-democratic-than-thou clan. But above all, she aims to remind us that we hold the essence of power and the foundation of genuine democracy-the power of the people to counter their self-appointed leaders’ tyranny.
First delivered as fiery speeches to sold-out crowds, together these essays are a call to arms against the apocalyptic apparatus of the American empire. Focusing on the disastrous US occupation of Iraq, Roy urges us to recognize-and apply-the scope of our power, exhorting US dockworkers to refuse to load materials war-bound, reservists to reject their call-ups, activists to organize boycotts of Halliburton, and citizens of other nations to collectively resist being deputized as janitor-soldiers to clear away the detritus of the US invasion.
Roy’s Guide to Empire also offers us sharp theoretical tools for understanding the New American Empire-a dangerous paradigm, Roy argues here, that is entirely distinct from the imperialism of the British or even the New World Order of George Bush, the elder. She examines how resistance movements build power, using examples of nonviolent organizing in South Africa, India, and the United States. Deftly drawing the thread through ostensibly disconnected issues and arenas, Roy pays particular attention to the parallels between globalization in India, the devastation in Iraq, and the deplorable conditions many African Americans, in particular, must still confront.
With Roy as our guide, we may not be able to relax from the Sisyphean task of stopping the U.S. juggernaut, but at least we are assured that the struggle for global justice is fortified by Roy’s hard-edged brilliance.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS
IN WHICH ANNIE GIVES IT THOSE ONE
Publisher: PENGUIN BOOKS