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Power Politics: The Re...
Arundhati Roy
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Power Politics: The Reincarnation Of Rumpelstiltskin

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  959 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
With reference to India.
99 pages
Published (first published September 1st 2000)
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Mar 07, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think Arundhati Roy would like what Goodreads is doing.

I read this with some trepidation, after hearing some friends talk about Roy's political views. I actually found the essays about the dams in Inida to be the most interesting, mostly because of the relation to China. I also enjoyed the comments on writing.I do wish, however, some of the ideas had been a little clearer. She's aganist globization which is fine, but than suggests that the UN Commission Dams should have a say - isn't tha
Genine Franklin-Clark

Wow. These essays should be must reading for all Americans. They will, or should, pull you out of any narrow America-is-the-Center-of-the-Universe mindset you may have.

I've had, and will continue to have, disagreements with friends who believe that an American life is worth more than the life of anyone else. Where does that come from? How blind do you have to be not to see that America, too, has clay feet? That we aren't perfect? That we've done terrible things, and are continuing to do terrible
Jun 07, 2012 danah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"There is an intricate web of morality, rigor, and responsibility that art, that writing itself, imposes on a writer. It's singular, but nevertheless it's there. At its best, it's an exquisite bond between the artist and the medium. At its acceptable end, it's a sort of sensible co-operation. At its worst, it's a relationship of disrespect and exploitation."

"Isn't it true, or at least theoretically possible that there are times in the life of a people or a nation when the political climate deman
Allison Frederick
India has undergone many dam projects as have many other developing countries. Foreign investment, flood control, irrigation canals, and energy production are the cited reasons for dam construction but critics claim that the devastation to the human population living in the flood zones and the ecological damage, as well as statistics stating historical dam projects provide significantly less energy output as expected, encourage extreme resistance to dam construction.

In India, massive protests i
Punit Soni
Jul 12, 2012 Punit Soni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, indian
Arundhati Roy is pissed and rightly so. Power Politics, her book of essays deals with topics ranging from 9-11 to mega-hydroelectric projects in India providing a voice to something we all feel at one time or the other; that something is not right amidst all these economic success stories. Somewhere the stink is rising and as we sniff around trying to ascertain the cause, Arundhati points to the rotting carcasses of those left behind. We look around and hope that something could be done. Arundha ...more
Feb 26, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Having experienced the 1999 World Trade Organization riots in Seattle first hand: some my floor-mates were on national TV for knocking down the NIKE sign while wearing Nike's, in watching the news one night after being downtown I found that I had been less than a block away from the mass arrest of over 200 people, my campus was surrounded by a police blockade at midnight one night due to the false report of a violent mob) this book speaks greatly to me about the reasoning behind the sometimes vi ...more
Apr 09, 2011 Komal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book REALLY hit home for me. My family is from the Narmada Area in India originally and I can see the direct results of the Dam project...the areas look awful. My mother took me to India for the first time when I was two and pictures of them then along the banks of the Narmada in our village and now look like two different regions. I even moved to India out of curiosity for over a year and lived along the Narmada (different village than the one my family is from) until 2006 and today the re ...more
Mar 25, 2007 Malaika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the politically curious
This book was recommended to me by Suman. It's a collection of essays by the author of The God of Small Things, sharing her views about globalization and security all over the world, but particularly in India.

It's non-fiction and there is an excellent essay in it called The Algebra of Infinite Justice about the 9/11 attacks, global poverty and the convoluted biased media and all the spin surrounding politics.

The rest of the book was okay, although I was a little bit annoyed by the tone.... My
Jun 21, 2012 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting commentary and important issues brought to light, particularly about the construction and brokering of extremely damaging hydroelectric dams in India. Not necessarily ground breaking, but certainly relevant to this day despite the relative age of the publication.

I take issue with Roy's irregular capitalization and some of the more outlandish comparisons that are not necessarily appropriate and lean towards fallacies. However I recognize their place in a world where shock value is har
Marilyn Mcentyre
Another superb, thoughtful set of essays on what Peter Dale Scott calls "deep politics." A reminder not to be naive about how decisions often get made behind the scenes by people who control more money and power than we like to think, and about the strenuous challenge of keeping those in power accountable. Indian politics become her lens for reflecting on global politics in ways relevant to us all. She's eloquent, intelligent, and courageous. She and Vendanta Shiva are two Indians to know about, ...more
Apr 05, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am definitely late to the debate about most of the stuff Roy is talking about in this book--10 years late, basically. But it's still amazing to read her stuff. She has a way of being angry without letting bitterness overwhelm, and her sarcasm offers up just a little bit of humore-as-relief while discussing the horrendous power dynamics at play in the world.


Now that I've finished this, I'm going to gobble up anything else she's written, and hope to find some s
Lisa Findley
Nov 26, 2007 Lisa Findley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always feel a little cowed when reading Arundhati Roy, because she knows and does so much and I know and do so little. I appreciate learning more, though, about the dams projects in India and the various movements to stop them. I enjoy her writing style, which is no less forceful for being so accessible. I do wish she'd include footnotes or some kind of notation for all the facts and quotes she uses; especially if she's one of the only people reporting on this and she's such a high-profile rec ...more
Apr 26, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The author of “The God of Small Things” discusses the effects of globalization on the poor of India with a particular emphasis on those who are losing their homes and land as India builds dam after dam after dam. The democratic process is either given a token nod or brushed aside altogether as bribes, money and power drive the dam decisions. Also of interest in the book is Roy’s examination of the role of writers and artists in democracy and modern society.
Aug 17, 2008 Arjunishankar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Judicial process and institution cannot be permitted to be scandalised or subjected to contumacious violation in such blatant manner in which it has been done by her [Arundhati Roy]... vicious stultification and vulgar debunking cannot be permitted to pollute the stream of justice... we are unhappy at the way in which the leaders of NBA and Ms. Arundhati Roy have attempted to undermine the dignity of the Court. We expected better behaviour from them...
Feb 11, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a few political essays about the negative effects of globalization, mostly from the perspective of India, since Roy is from there. I was most interested in the first chapter (about the impact of dams), and the last one (about the warmongering of the U.S.), although all the essays had something new in them.
Dec 28, 2013 Mina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Refreshing and beautifully written, although not incredibly dense with information. I'd approach it as more of a primer to anyone who's just decided to move beyond the asinine, dichotomic politics of the "War on Terror." Anyone who has lived under empire or at least felt its hand around their throat, this book is, in a tortured way, cathartic. To anyone else, read with compassion.
Drew Pyke
I read this within one train journey it was so short. It is an interesting read as you rarely get an insight into India's recent love affair with economic liberalisation of the 90s under Rao. The effects of the dam project and the shady bartering process behind it are spelled out well in this book and speaks wider about how locals are being bulldozed in the name of progress.
Michal Wigal
Jumps from how the poor in India are made even more destitute by the construction of dams that is forced by the India government and U.S. corporations and the U.S.destructive response to 911. Its a pretty stinging endictment of the Indian and U.S. governments. ...more
Soham Chakraborty
Bloody brilliant analysis.

Every word is measured, every sentence sourced, every news cross-checked, every account tested.

I will try to write a full review once I do my own research on the notes.

Please read it, this is Roy's best political essay apart from 'For Greater Common Good'.
Jan 31, 2008 Ruthie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Roy utterly rocks my socks. She gives post-colonial super- power-bullying the ultimate dress-down, and it's succulent. I also hear that she's got (finally! glory be!) a work of fiction set to hit shelves in '09. I'll line up at Barnes 'n Noble at midnight for that shizzle.
Mike Hayden
Mar 31, 2014 Mike Hayden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
IF you ever wondered how bad dams are for India and how fucked up their politics are, here is a great introduction. Also a good read about why people ought to be suspicious of globalization and international corporations (and why GE is an asshole of a company.)
Karan Paintal
While Arundhati Roy engages the Audience with her narrative, from a purely academic point of view, not very informative. Neither does it really talk about the notion of power, might seem like a misleading title. The chapter on Rumpelslitskin, is a delight to read though
Jul 29, 2008 claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for a sometimes overwhelming testament/argument by one of the most articulate writers on the planet. Roy explores the notion of the "expert" and how ridiculously susceptible we all are to those deemed such by the media or the government.
Feb 23, 2008 Jodyanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition post and comments have been removed! at any rate..... this is a book that appears to have created some sort of controversy........otherwise....why the missing original comments???? read at your own risk and while you are at it....... forget about reading eqbal ahmed!
Jan 08, 2008 Karla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scathing and amazing writing, the last couple essays are great reads particularly for the U.S. Americans to peer into politics surrounding 9/11. I look forward to reading/listening to more of Roy's work. It's power political poetry, really.
Dec 28, 2009 Ny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book is 1,000 times better than the god of small things. I don't know why it's not more well-known. Roy's anger is palpable and I had to admire her ability to put together a solid argument. I can't remember specifics, just that I was wowed by it. Might read it again.
Jan 11, 2008 Tate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arundhati Roy is another hero. She is an absolutely amazing activist who writes the most eloquent dissent I have ever read.
May 04, 2007 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On power. Lyrically.
Dec 21, 2007 Jesus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: architectonics
Great introduction to the politics of distribution of energy & dams in India.
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Arundhati Roy is an Indian writer who is also 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.

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“I love the unanswered question, the unresolved story, the unclimbed mountain, the tender shard of an incomplete dream. Most of the time. But is it mandatory for a writer to be ambiguous about everything? Isn't it true that there have been fearful episodes in human history when prudence and discretion would have just been euphemisms for pusillanimity? When caution was actually cowardice? When sophistication was disguised decadence? When circumspection was really a kind of espousal? Isn't it true, or at least theoretically possible, that there are times in the life of a people or a nation when the political climate demands that we—even the most sophisticated of us—overtly take sides? I think such times are upon us.” 4 likes
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