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by Amitava Kumar

Download A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb fb2, epub

ISBN: 0822345781
Author: Amitava Kumar
Language: English
Publisher: Duke University Press Books; unknown edition (July 1, 2010)
Pages: 232
Category: Politics & Government
Subcategory: Politics
Rating: 4.7
Votes: 241
Size Fb2: 1551 kb
Size ePub: 1925 kb
Size Djvu: 1220 kb
Other formats: txt mobi lit lrf


On March 12, 1993, there had been a series of bombings - one bomb in the Stock Exchange, another in the offices of Air India, still others, placed in scooters and cars, in crowded areas outside a temple and elsewhere

On March 12, 1993, there had been a series of bombings - one bomb in the Stock Exchange, another in the offices of Air India, still others, placed in scooters and cars, in crowded areas outside a temple and elsewhere. These had resulted in the deaths of 257 people. The bombings were to avenge the deaths of Muslims in riots just a few months before. All this was unleashed by the destruction, at the hands of a Hindu mob, of a sixteenth-century mosque in northern India.

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Amitava Kumar has written a unique book. Turns out Kumar is fascinated that one of the terrorists in the Mumbai attacks is awe-struck by the opulence of the five-star hotel in which he carries out the killings. It is ultimately a book about neoliberalism, about the public interest defined as militarism rather than as well-being. It is a book about the imagination reduced to suspicion and fear rather than hope and liberty. It is a book that swells from India to Indiana, depicting the global ecology of antiterrorism. Vijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations. A People's History of the Third World. This detail preoccupies Kumar and is offered to us as a major revelation about terrorists.

Amitava Kumar is a novelist, poet, journalist, and Professor of English at Vassar College. He was born in Bihar, India; he grew up in the town of Patna, famous for its corruption, crushing poverty, and delicious mangoes.

Amitava Kumar (born 17 March 1963) is an Indian writer and journalist who is Professor of English on the Helen D. Lockwood Chair . Lockwood Chair at Vassar College. A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm A Tiny Bomb, Duke University Press Books, 2010, ISBN 978-0822345626, a non-fiction book about the war on terror, and the literary as well as artistic responses to it. A Matter of Rats: A Short Biography of Patna, Duke University Press Books, 2014, ISBN 978-0822357049. Lunch with a Bigot: The Writer in the World, Duke University Press Books, 2015, ISBN 978-0822359111. Immigrant, Montana, Knopf, 2018

Most of the following are easily related: local armed groups, foreign soldiers or maps that help us locate ourselves after the last catastrophe mentioned in the newscast

A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb. Most of the following are easily related: local armed groups, foreign soldiers or maps that help us locate ourselves after the last catastrophe mentioned in the newscast. 16 years of continuous war of the United States,. added to the internal combats of the country that we can trace until the intervention of the Soviet Union that began 38 years ago and would last ten.

Amitava Kumar on the Riz Khan show on Al Jazeera. Amitava Kumar interview in Chronogram. Amitava Kumar interview with Sepia Mutiny. Amitava Kumar interview on WBAI.

In a wide-ranging work, Amitava Kumar examines the stereotypes and grand visions of state security that have driven the dominant narrative and actions of the war on terror in both India and the USA. He portrays many of those arrested for terrorism not as extremists and master criminals, but as simple people of limited threat. They are pulled into trouble by accident, boastful statements, innocent explorations, or leading actions by government informants, and then pursued in part because they fit preconceived ideas of the dangerous foreigner in our midst.

Part reportage and part protest, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb is an inquiry into the cultural logic and global repercussions of the war on terror. At its center are two men convicted in U.S. courts on terrorism-related charges: Hemant Lakhani, a seventy-year-old tried for attempting to sell a fake missile to an FBI informant, and Shahawar Matin Siraj, baited by the New York Police Department into a conspiracy to bomb a subway. Lakhani and Siraj were caught through questionable sting operations involving paid informants; both men received lengthy jail sentences. Their convictions were celebrated as major victories in the war on terror. In Amitava Kumar’s riveting account of their cases, Lakhani and Siraj emerge as epic bunglers, and the U.S. government as the creator of terror suspects to prosecute. Kumar analyzed the trial transcripts and media coverage, and he interviewed Lakhani, Siraj, their families, and their lawyers. Juxtaposing such stories of entrapment in the United States with narratives from India, another site of multiple terror attacks and state crackdowns, Kumar explores the harrowing experiences of ordinary people entangled in the war on terror. He also considers the fierce critiques of post-9/11 surveillance and security regimes by soldiers and torture victims, as well as artists and writers, including Coco Fusco, Paul Shambroom, and Arundhati Roy.

Comments:

Qiahmagha
Many post-9/11 and "War on Terror" books have attempted to explain the zeitgeist of the world, but most have been superficial, like Amis's and Updike's novels, or polarizing.

Amitava Kumar's book is a brilliant and very accessible transnational study of the victims on both sides of manufactured wars. Connecting imperialism, colonization, insurgency, and growing fascism around the world, Kumar carves out a book that is a deeply personal study of innocent strangers swept up and ensnared in globalized net of entrapment, racism, blind rage, and hatred. Kumar is never a distant observer; instead, he meets with almost everyone he talks about, covering events related to the "war on terror" from the U.S. to India to Kashmir. This is a remarkable book.
Matty
Since 9/11/01, the War on Terror has served up no major players in the attacks that occurred in the US on that day. Instead, our intelligence gathering systems have produced a string of inadept wannabes, their files released to the press as major coups in the global war. Within days of each arrest, we begin to learn that each of these characters was not the Big Bad that we were originally given to understand.

Amitava Kumar's new book zeroes in on some of these specimens of the Global War, and in fine-grained detail examines their deeds, their cases and their role in this ongoing drama. What we learn is depressing-- both for the punishments (and often torture) meted out on individuals whose crimes usually amount to talking big to the wrong people-- and for the mounting evidence that this war is in no way closer to achieving its initial goals than it was on September 12th, 2001.

Kumar's discussion is balanced (he is not always sympathetic to the subjects of his narration) and written in an engaging and accessible style. As in his previous books, Kumar mixes different narrative styles, especially reportage and memoir, and quotes at length from portions of the court documents associated with the various cases.

For anyone wishing to understand the War on Terror in greater detail than what is generally available in the press, this book is essential reading.
FRAY
Amitava Kumar's book takes the pulse of American response to 9/11 at home. His writing is at times lyrical, at times reportage but always precise, focused. He pays as much attention to himself as a subject and object as he does to the people and circumstances he is describing. In alternate chapters, he discusses the prosecution (via sting operations) of two domestic terrorism cases, the response of Indian army to Kashmir, the attempts by artists and thinkers to contextualize the domestic sphere of the global War on Terror. This is a rich, wonderfully written book, deserving of a sustained, deep reading - perhaps one of the best non-fiction treatment of the post 9/11 apparatchik.
Agantrius
The major point of this book is that hatred is a failure of the imagination. So along comes Amitava Kumar, cosmopolitan Indian-at-large to remedy this problem. But the failure, it seems, is Kumar's.

His book turns terrorism into a problem of brainwashed, provincial little guys, hapless entrapped merchants, and bureaucratic bunglers. He concedes that some terrorists are dangerous, but bracketing that entire issue, he concentrates on his little guys. Turns out Kumar is fascinated that one of the terrorists in the Mumbai attacks is awe-struck by the opulence of the five-star hotel in which he carries out the killings. This detail preoccupies Kumar and is offered to us as a major revelation about terrorists. What he leaves out is what horrified most others about this attack--that the terrorists used drugs to keep themselves awake so they could maximize the destruction and killing of men, women, and children, that in a huge city like Mumbai they meticulously hunted and killed members of a tiny Jewish community, that they unflinchingly killed children at point-blank range. Given the enormous moral and political complexity of the problem of terrorism, Kumar is entirely disingenuous to suggest that looking at the little guy, the accidental terrorist, we will have understood better what we confront.

I wonder if he had talked sympathetically about one of the "little guys" involved in the 9/11 attacks, instead of the Mumbai attacks, whether his book would have been reviewed in the mainstream press.
Joony
An English professor from Vassar as a terrorist expert? Give me a break.

If we are getting our legal analysis and "reportage" of the global war on terror from an English professor at Vassar, it shows just how bad things have become. The mainstream coverage of the war on terror has its flaws, but who can seriously say that this is an alternative? The book's claim to offering a "humane" account of the events covers over the superficiality and flawed reasoning in this book. The writing is patchy, the reasoning is flimsy, and the book is simply not worth its cost.

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