Spellbound by his grandmother's Anglo-Indian heritage and the exuberant annual visits of her friend the Begum, Isambard Wilkinson became enthralled by Pakistan as a teenager, eventually working there as a foreign correspondent during the War on Terror. Seeking the land behind the headlines, he sets out to discover the essence of a country convulsed by Islamist violence. What of the old, mystical Pakistan has survived and what has been destroyed? We meet charismatic tribal chieftains making their last stand, hereditary saints blessing prostitutes, gangster bosses in violent slums and ecstatic Muslim pilgrims. Navigating a minefield of coups, conspiracies, cock-ups and bombs, Bard is reluctant to judge; his is a funny, hashish- and whisky-scented travel book from the frontline, full of open-hearted delight and a poignant lust for life. Photographs by Chev Wilkinson.
Author: Isambard Wilkinson
Author: Isambard Wilkinson
Seeking the land behind the headlines, this book sets out to discover the essence of a country convulsed by Islamic violence. What of the old, mythical Pakistan has survived, and what has been destroyed? A delightful and poignant look. B AND W plates.
Author: Isambard Wilkinson
A masterwork of travel literature and of history: voyaging from Cuba to Jamaica, Puerto Rico to Trinidad, Haiti to Barbados, and islands in between, Joshua Jelly-Schapiro offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of each society, its culture and politics, connecting this region’s common heritage to its fierce grip on the world’s imagination. From the moment Columbus gazed out from the Santa María's deck in 1492 at what he mistook for an island off Asia, the Caribbean has been subjected to the misunderstandings and fantasies of outsiders. Running roughshod over the place, they have viewed these islands and their inhabitants as exotic allure to be consumed or conquered. The Caribbean stood at the center of the transatlantic slave trade for more than three hundred years, with societies shaped by mass migrations and forced labor. But its people, scattered across a vast archipelago and separated by the languages of their colonizers, have nonetheless together helped make the modern world—its politics, religion, economics, music, and culture. Jelly-Schapiro gives a sweeping account of how these islands’ inhabitants have searched and fought for better lives. With wit and erudition, he chronicles this “place where globalization began,” and introduces us to its forty million people who continue to decisively shape our world. From the Hardcover edition.
The Caribbean and the World
Author: Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
“Remarkable: a book about borders that makes the reader feel sumptuously free.” —Peter Pomerantsev In this extraordinary work of narrative reportage, Kapka Kassabova returns to Bulgaria, from where she emigrated as a girl twenty-five years previously, to explore the border it shares with Turkey and Greece. When she was a child, the border zone was rumored to be an easier crossing point into the West than the Berlin Wall, and it swarmed with soldiers and spies. On holidays in the “Red Riviera” on the Black Sea, she remembers playing on the beach only miles from a bristling electrified fence whose barbs pointed inward toward the enemy: the citizens of the totalitarian regime. Kassabova discovers a place that has been shaped by successive forces of history: the Soviet and Ottoman empires, and, older still, myth and legend. Her exquisite portraits of fire walkers, smugglers, treasure hunters, botanists, and border guards populate the book. There are also the ragged men and women who have walked across Turkey from Syria and Iraq. But there seem to be nonhuman forces at work here too: This densely forested landscape is rich with curative springs and Thracian tombs, and the tug of the ancient world, of circular time and animism, is never far off. Border is a scintillating, immersive travel narrative that is also a shadow history of the Cold War, a sideways look at the migration crisis troubling Europe, and a deep, witchy descent into interior and exterior geographies.
A Journey to the Edge of Europe
Author: Kapka Kassabova
Publisher: Graywolf Press
India is killing the Ganges, and the Ganges in turn is killing India. The waterway that has nourished more people than any on earth for three millennia is now so polluted with sewage and toxic waste that it has become a menace to human and animal health. Victor Mallet traces the holy river from source to mouth, and from ancient times to the present day, to find that the battle to rescue what is arguably the world's most important river is far from lost. As one Hindu sage told the author in Rishikesh on the banks of the upper Ganges (known to Hindus as the goddess Ganga): "If Ganga dies, India dies. If Ganga thrives, India thrives. The lives of 500 million people is no small thing." Drawing on four years of first-hand reporting and detailed historical and scientific research, Mallet delves into the religious, historical, and biological mysteries of the Ganges, and explains how Hindus can simultaneously revere and abuse their national river. Starting at the Himalayan glacier where the Ganges emerges pure and cold from an icy cave known as the "Cow's Mouth" and ending in the tiger-infested mangrove swamps of the Bay of Bengal, Mallet encounters everyone from the naked holy men who worship the river, to the engineers who divert its waters for irrigation, the scientists who study its bacteria, and Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist prime minister, who says he wants to save India's mother-river for posterity. Can they succeed in saving the river from catastrophe - or is it too late?
The Ganges and India's Future
Author: Victor Mallet
Publisher: Oxford University Press
2084 bce: In the great city of Mohenjodaro, along the banks of the Indus, a young man named Prkaa becomes increasingly mistrustful of the growing authority of a cult of priests. 455 ce: In the fabled university city of Takshasilla, Buddhamitra, a monk, is distressed by how his colleagues seem to have lost sight of the essence of the Buddha's message of compassion. 1620 ce: During the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir, a pair of itinerant fortune seekers endeavour to swindle the patrician elite, only to find themselves utterly disillusioned. 1857 ce: Mir Sahib, a wandering minstrel, traverses the realms of human deception even as a rebellion against the British Raj is advancing across India. 2009 ce: In contemporary Lahore, the widow Rafiya Begum navigates legal complexities in order to secure her rights and fend off predatory charlatans. 2084 ce: A scholar revisits the known history of the cataclysmic events that led to world domination by ruthless international water conglomerates. Across epochs and civilizations, these are intensely personal journeys that investigate the legitimacy of religion and authority, and chronicle the ascent of dissent. Snuffing Out the Moon is a dazzling debut novel that is at once a cry for freedom and a call for resistance.
Author: Osama Siddique
Publisher: Penguin Random House India Private Limited
There are many reasons why it might seem unwise to walk, mostly alone, through the Middle East. That, in part, is exactly why Leon McCarron did it. From Jerusalem, McCarron followed a series of wild hiking trails that trace ancient trading and pilgrimage routes and traverse some of the most contested landscapes in the world. In the West Bank, he met families struggling to lead normal lives amidst political turmoil and had a surreal encounter with the world’s oldest and smallest religious sect. In Jordan, he visited the ruins of Hellenic citadels and trekked through the legendary Wadi Rum. His journey culminated in the vast deserts of the Sinai, home to Bedouin tribes and haunted by the ghosts of Biblical history. The Land Beyond is a journey through time, from the quagmire of current geopolitics to the original ideals of the faithful, through the layers of history, culture and religion that have shaped the Holy Land. But at its heart, it is the story of people, not politics and of the connections that can bridge seemingly insurmountable barriers.
A Thousand Miles on Foot through the Heart of the Middle East
Author: Leon McCarron
The personalities of the winds affect everything from landscape and climate to the history, architecture, mythology and psychology of the cultures through which they blow. The author set out on a quest to meet them.
Walking Europe's Winds from the Pennines to Provence
Author: Nick Hunt
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey
Explores the complex relationship between colonial law and the reform of legal systems in postcolonial states.
An Alien Justice
Author: Osama Siddique
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
What does it mean to be a middle-class Muslim kid in India today? Talking to over a hundred children and their parents across twelve cities, Nazia Erum uncovers stories of religious segregation in classrooms and rampant bullying of Muslim children in many of the countryÕs top schools.
Author: Nazia Erum
Publisher: Juggernaut Books
Fed up with his tedious desk job, a young man decides to quit on an impulse. He wants to write a novel, but doesn't think he has a story to tell. So the would-be writer, who was raised in a kotha, sets out to travel, hoping to arrive somewhere: at a destination, at a story. But it's not just about arriving. What about the journey? The joy and pain of trudging through the country without a plan, or a map? If his aim is to write, who will document his search for inspiration, and for love? Lean Days is the story of an artist's voyage through the country, mixing history with imagination, and finding people and places whose stories he can tell along with his own. It is a book of journeys without an end in sight, about the yearning for romance and succumbing to the temptations of the flesh.
Author: Manish Gaekwad
Publisher: Harper Collins
Levison Wood was only 22 when he decided to hitch-hike from England to India through Russia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but he wasn't the conventional follower of the hippy trail. A fascination with the deeds of the early explorers, a history degree in the bag, an army career already planned and a shoestring budget of 750 pounds - including for the flight home - he was determined to find out more about the countries of the Caucasus and beyond - and meet the people who lived and worked there. Eastern Horizons is a true traveller's tale in the tradition of the best of the genre, populated by a cast of eccentric characters; from mujahideen fighters to the Russian mafia. Along the way he meets some people who showed great hospitality, while others would rather have murdered him ...
Hitchhiking the Silk Road
Author: Levison Wood
Resuming the narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars, bestselling author Steve Coll tells for the first time the epic and enthralling story of America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11 Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation, although often in direct opposition, with I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the US was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S," was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban, in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when fifty-nine countries, led by the U. S., deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the U.S. was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan. Today we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Muslim world caused by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and corruption. But more than anything, as Coll makes painfully clear, the war in Afghanistan was doomed because of the failure of the United States to apprehend the motivations and intentions of I.S.I.'s "Directorate S". This was a swirling and shadowy struggle of historic proportions, which endured over a decade and across both the Bush and Obama administrations, involving multiple secret intelligence agencies, a litany of incongruous strategies and tactics, and dozens of players, including some of the most prominent military and political figures. A sprawling American tragedy, the war was an open clash of arms but also a covert melee of ideas, secrets, and subterranean violence. Coll excavates this grand battle, which took place away from the gaze of the American public. With unsurpassed expertise, original research, and attention to detail, he brings to life a narrative at once vast and intricate, local and global, propulsive and painstaking. This is the definitive explanation of how America came to be so badly ensnared in an elaborate, factional, and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia. Nothing less than a forensic examination of the personal and political forces that shape world history, Directorate S is a complete masterpiece of both investigative and narrative journalism.
The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Author: Steve Coll
Category: Political Science
Reproduction of the original: The Book of Khalid by Ameen Rihani
Author: Ameen Rihani
Publisher: BoD – Books on Demand
An Indian empire at the peak of its power. Everyone wants a share of the riches of Nagapattinam. When a Greek pirate ship sails in to loot the wealth of the Cholas, it is brutally defeated by the navy and forced to pay a compensation. A payment that includes a twelve-year-old girl, Aremis.
Author: Devi Yesodharan
Publisher: Juggernaut Books
In late 2014, Arundhati Roy, John Cusack, and Daniel Ellsberg travelled to Moscow to meet with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The result was a series of essays and dialogues in which Roy and Cusack reflect on their conversations with Snowden. In these provocative and penetrating discussions, Roy and Cusack discuss the nature of the state, empire, and surveillance in an era of perpetual war, the meaning of flags and patriotism, the role of foundations and NGOs in limiting dissent, and the ways in which capital but not people can freely cross borders. Arundhati Roy is a writer and global justice activist. From her celebrated Booker Prize–winning novel The God of Small Things, to her prolific output of writing on topics ranging from climate change to war, the perils of free-market "development" in India, and the defense of the poor, Roy's voice has become indispensable to millions seeking a better word. John Cusack is a writer, filmmaker, and a board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He has written the screenplays for the movies Grosse Point Blank, High Fidelity, and War, Inc., with Mark Leyner and Jeremy Pikser, among many others. His writing has appeared widely, including the Guardian, Truthout, and Outlook India.
Essays and Conversations
Author: Arundhati Roy,John Cusack
Publisher: Haymarket Books
Category: Political Science