India

India

Shashi Tharoor

Nonfiction / Fiction / Contemporary

India: From Midnight to the Millennium and Beyond is an eloquent argument for the importance of India to the future of the industrialized world. Shashi Tharoor shows compellingly that India stands at the intersection of the most significant questions facing the world today. If democracy leads to inefficient political infighting, should it be sacrificed in the interest of economic well-being? Does religious fundamentalism provide a way for countries in the developing world to assert their identity in the face of Western hegemony, or is there a case for pluralism and diversity amid cultural and religious traditions? Does the entry of Western consumer goods threaten a country's economic self-sufficiency, and is protectionism the only guarantee of independence? The answers to such questions will determine what the nature of our world is in the twenty-first century. And since Indians account for almost one-sixth of the world's population today, their choices will resonate throughout...
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Riot

Riot

Shashi Tharoor

Nonfiction / Fiction / Contemporary

Who killed twenty-four-year-old Priscilla Hart? This highly motivated, idealistic American student had come to India to volunteer in women's health programs, but had her work made a killer out of an enraged husband? Or was her death the result of a xenophobic attack? Had an indiscriminate love affair spun out of control? Had a disgruntled, deeply jealous colleague been pushed to the edge? Or was she simply the innocent victim of a riot that had exploded in that fateful year of 1989 between Hindus and Muslims? Experimenting masterfully with narrative form in this brilliant tour de force, internationally acclaimed novelist Shashi Tharoor chronicles the mystery of Priscilla Hart's death through the often contradictory accounts of a dozen or more characters, all of whom relate their own versions of the events surrounding her killing. Like his two previous novels, Riot probes and reveals the richness of India, and is at once about love, hate, cultural collision, the...
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Bookless in Baghdad

Bookless in Baghdad

Shashi Tharoor

Nonfiction / Fiction / Contemporary

Supremely personal, yet always probing and analytical, this brilliant collection of essays is part memoir, part literary criticism. "A fluid and powerful writer, one of the best in a generation of Indian authors" (New York Times Book Review), Shashi Tharoor, the acclaimed author of six books is once again at his provocative best. In the title piece, we learn what Iraqis go through in their beleaguered land merely to get hold of a book, and how selling books from their own libraries on the street helps some put bread on the table. Tharoor reminisces about growing up with books in India and discusses the importance of the Mahabharata in Indian life and history. There is also a poignant homage to Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, whose home was raided by the oppressive military regime while he lay on his deathbed, and who famously said: "There is only one thing of danger for you here-my poetry!" Pondering world affairs, Tharoor declares that "the defining features of today's world are...
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The Five Dollar Smile

The Five Dollar Smile

Shashi Tharoor

Nonfiction / Fiction / Contemporary

This touching and funny collection of stories showcases Tharoor's daunting literary acumen, as well as the keen sensitivity that informs his ability to write profoundly and entertainingly on themes ranging from family conflict to death. In the title story—written in a lonely hotel room in Geneva soon after the author began his work with the United Nations—a young Indian orphan is on his way to visit America for the first time, and his anguish and longing in the airplane seem hardly different from those of any American child. Tharoor's admiration for P. G. Wodehouse makes “How Bobby Chatterjee Turned to Drink" a delightful homage, while “The Temple Thief," “The Simple Man," and “The Political Murder" bring to mind O. Henry and Maupassant. His three college stories, “Friends," “The Pyre," and “The Professor's Daughter," are full of youthful high jinks, naïve infatuations, and ingenious wordplay. “The Solitude of the...
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Inglorious Empire

Inglorious Empire

Shashi Tharoor

Nonfiction / Fiction / Contemporary

Inglorious Empire tells the real story of the British in India—from the arrival of the East India Company to the end of the Raj—and reveals how Britain's rise was built upon its plunder of India.In the eighteenth century, India's share of the world economy was as large as Europe's. By 1947, after two centuries of British rule, it had decreased six-fold. Beyond conquest and deception, the Empire blew rebels from cannon, massacred unarmed protesters, entrenched institutionalised racism, and caused millions to die from starvation.British imperialism justified itself as enlightened despotism for the benefit of the governed, but Shashi Tharoor takes on and demolishes this position, demonstrating how every supposed imperial 'gift'—from the railways to the rule of law—was designed in Britain's interests alone. He goes on to show how Britain's Industrial Revolution was founded on India's deindustrialisation, and the destruction of its textile...
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Nehru

Nehru

Shashi Tharoor

Nonfiction / Fiction / Contemporary

An incisive new biography of the great secularist who-alongside his spiritual father, Mahatma Gandhi-led the movement for India's independence from British rule and ushered his newly independent country into the modern world. The man who would one day help topple British rule and become India's first prime minister started out as a surprisingly unremarkable student. Born into a wealthy, politically influential Indian family in the waning years of the Raj, Jawaharlal Nehru was raised on Western secularism and the humanist ideas of the Enlightenment under his father's careful guidance. Once he met Gandhi in 1916, Nehru threw himself into the nonviolent struggle for India's independence, a struggle that wasn't won until 1947. India had found a perfect political compliment to her more spiritual advocate, but neither Nehru nor Gandhi could prevent the horrific price for independence: Partition. In this fascinating biography, Tharoor, author of India: From Midnight to the Millennium,...
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