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Public Power in the Age of Empire (Open Media)

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  136 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In her major address to the 99th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association on August 16, 2004, "Public Power in the Age of Empire," broadcast nationally on C-Span Book TV and on Democracy Now! and Alternative Radio, writer Arundhati Roy brilliantly examines the limits to democracy in the world today. Bringing the same care to her prose that she brought to her ...more
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Published January 4th 2011 by Seven Stories Press (first published November 1st 2004)
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Short, and entirely worth the read. I'm giving it four stars because I don't remember it well enough to give it five (I read it in a post-malarial haze of generalized existential sensitivity to how fucked up this world is, when you get right down to it), but I do remember thinking that this speech got right to the heart of the matter and made the point in the way it needed to be made.
Lauren Smith
Jul 12, 2010 Lauren Smith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone and everyone
Shelves: non-fiction, own, war, politics
Are 'democracies' still democratic? Are governments accountable to the people who elect them? These are some of the questions that Arundhati Roy asks in her brief but insightful speech (this little book is the transcription, and can also be found free online). We live in an Age of Empire, she argues, characterised by economic colonialism and the repression of resistance.

Using Indian and American governments as her main examples, Roy discusses the ways in which governments can manipulate the peo
This book is the text of a speech that Roy gave to the American Sociological Association. It's brief and to the point, and deals with the nature of public power when 'power' is really more violence used by government and property held by multinational corporations.
You don't actually need to get the book. The full speech is available free online at

I think perhaps some of the most provocative lines for me were these:
"No government's condemnation of terroris
Jawahar Natarajan
This book shows the 2015 Feb 10 Delhi makeover in different perspective.
Direct and concise assessment of western imperialism in the 21st century and its effect on "democracy/democracies" around the world.
A brilliant and inspiring speech.
I really like Arundhati
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Arundhati Roy is an Indian writer who writes in English and an activist who focuses on issues related to social justice and economic inequality. She won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel, The God of Small Things, and has also written two screenplays and several collections of essays.

For her work as an activist she received the Cultural Freedom Prize awarded by the Lannan Foundation in 2002.

More about Arundhati Roy...

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“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe. ” 131 likes
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