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The Algebra Of Infinite Justice

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,482 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
First published in 2001, this book brings together all of Arundhati Roy's political writings so far. This revised paperback edition includes two new essays, written in early 2002: 'Democracy: Who's She When She's Not at Home', which examines the horrific communal violence in Gujarat, and 'War Talk: Summer Games with Nuclear Bombs', about the threat of nuclear war in the Su ...more
303 pages
Published 2001 by Penguin Books India
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Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
For a few years now, I have heard everyone - from sections of media to people in my social stream call Arundhati Roy everything from a Naxalite lover to a development hater to a deranged person, the last instance during the happenings in Kashmir. In fact, these days whenever there’s an issue of national interest with a scope for polarised opinions, I find many people asking about her take, just so they can heap more ridicule. And though I have never really been a fan of her award winning work of ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roy
Roy’s lexis dazzle through each penned composition voicing a valiant and scathing critique of falsified political institutions and the materialization of Indian fascism.
Dec 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india, non-fiction
I am not a left-winger. I have chopped off my right wing as well few years back. Standing at the center and tilting either way as the situation demands is hypocrisy, in my opinion.

So I just stand away from the line and observe.

In short, I don't have a stand. And that gives me an opportunity to view all in sort of an unbiased way.

But, Arundhati Roy has a stand. Left of most. And she throws brickbats at anyone who stands right of her.I needed to understand why she is hurling these bludgeons. So I
Eduardo Moraes
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From "War Is Peace":

"Nothing can excuse or justify an act of terrorism, whether it is committed by religious fundamentalists, private militia, people's resistance movements—or whether it's dressed up as a war of retribution by a recognised government. The bombing of Afghanistan is not revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet another act of terror against the people of the world. Each innocent person that is killed must be added to, not set off against, the grisly toll of civilians who died
Mike Wigal
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She's a hell of a writer #1. If after writing "The God of Small Things" she had remained "just" a novelist she would have been treasured. But winning the Mann-Booker prize gave her the platform to write political essays. "Algebra of Infinite Justice" is a collection of some of them. Although it's pretty India-centric, and a bit dated, coming soon after 9/11, her politics is clear. Whenever in doubt she sides with the exploited. The US, George Bush and cronies (including Tony Blair) come in for t ...more
Jan 16, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
good at writing fiction does not mean good at writing politics
Dec 17, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though her writing may appeal primarily to left-wing intellectuals, this book is one every individual should have on his or her bookshelf. Her longest essay in this book, The Greater Common Good, focuses on large dam construction, but covers many issues of philosophical interest. Why take away from one and give to another? A utilitarian could make the argument that we should strive for the greatest good for the greatest number of people, but who is receiving the greatest good? We know that it is ...more
Nafis Faizi
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has probably, some of the best collection of essays, I have ever read. I don't know why people (read humans, not right winged fools) hate her, when her observations are supported by hard facts !You don't worship a writer, you follow what you think is supported by facts and has a deduction you agree with. That she's one sided everyone knows,that she gets very emotional is also known, but that's passion, and so what ? Well lemme put it in her own words, in one of her essays 'the end of i ...more
Jun 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A society is judged by the way it treats its less fortunate. This book speaks volumes about how a state basically ignores the rights and basic needs of its own people while ironically claiming to act on their behalf. As a result, people suffer. Weapons are amassed, wars are fought, tenders are won.
While it has a way of grinding its point into the reader, the book is still an interesting read, telling the story of the atomic bomb, the hydroelectric dam, the religious divide, giving it an almost
Shubham Singh
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The algebra of Infinite Justice is an important book about important topics.
Arundhati Roy is at her best, bold and sharp as she should be. This book is a collection of her essays on topics which range from Nuclear wars to State orchestrated terrorism.
Having a view and opinion is not a crime and when the line between good and evil is so clear, it is wrong not to do so. Its not about supporting the left or the right (whilst Roy is mostly seen taking a leftist stand), the point is to oppose evil an
Apr 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays mostly dealing with Indian politics, though she does write at some length about 9/11 and the US. Roy is coming from the left, the far, angry, firebrand left. She makes no apologies about her conclusions and being on the "right" (as in, correct, not political right-wing) side of each issue.

This is a perspective that is completely missing from the stock US political dialog.
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing and everyone should read it. This is a compilation of several essays by Roy. She discusses Dam projects in India, the US war, Enron, privitzation of natural resources, displacement of native peoples, and how all of this affects us globally.

This book really opened my eyes to a variety of different issues & I saw them from a new perspective.

Her writing is clear and concise, yet very emotionally charged.

5 starts all the way.
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has a lot to teach people about the way the world works. It explained a lot of things about power and corruption that I didn't understand and Arundhati Roy is a wonderful author and teacher. Her writing is passionate and powerful and will change the way you think about the world. This is one of her most powerful books and should be a must read for every human being on this planet.
Emily Kimball
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While some of the essays resonated with me better than others, I needed this entire book. It's incredibly healing to hear someone name how messy our world is.
Rahul Khanna
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I have only three words to write- 'please read it'. She is a innate writer.
Aug 28, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This woman seems to have too much pop corn in her head. Looks like she can present really good left-libral arguments, but she is more of a showman.
Ayushi Nayak
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An apt, oh-wait-for-it, perfect read!
May 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Julia by: Zach Wagner
In all seriousness, Arundhati Roy is my hero. She tells it like it is and speaks truth to power like whoa. I feel so inspired and energized when I read her work.
Rupsa Bhattacharjee
I have stumbled on this book in an usual visit to the bookstore... Neither read any review prior nor anybody in my fellow book-community suggested. Probably that's the way you discover gems; raw and untouched. This thin book took me long to finish, around two months to be precise. Because honestly you can't gulp down more than two pages at a go, it is that hard to go deep down and understand. I normally don't share my book experiences with anyone other than a very few chosen people. Snobbish it ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written after 9/11 events in America. The author covers the colorful spectrum of Indian Politics. Her special emphasis is on the Narmada Valley Dam project in Gujarat and the associated displacement of poor villagers. She also has quite an outlook on Nuclear weapons and America's involvements on War on Terrorism. Since the book was last updated in 2002 its all historical reading it now in 2017.
The author's command of the English language is very good. Her viewpoints on Dam constructions and Nuc
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What does it mean when the issues Arundhati Roy was talking about in this book of essays - written mostly in/around the turn of the millennium - still apply today?


This was a very good read; I'd recommend it to anyone. But then again, I'd recommend almost anything by Arundhati, so.

(Also, John Berger - that incredible, brilliant man - wrote the foreword.)
Prembhari Thakkar
Roy sears with this book. You will agree with her leftist worldview. Or not. But the book forces thought. It is impossible to be unmoved. She is a master of the written word. Her words are gloves to her views. Loved it.
Oct 03, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is the first of Arundhati Roy’s works that I have read and it was exactly what I expected it to be – controversial with a big ‘C’! At the outset, I must say that I disagree with much of what Roy has argued for or against, nonetheless, I must acknowledge that she makes very clever use of language to push forward her points of view. This book, in parts, is rather biased and it resembles the work of a stubborn and rebellious teenager, who views the whole world as being against her – Roy h ...more
Tushaar Kataria
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Great book by a great writer who have the balls to say what she thinks is right. This book is a little defensive then the rest of her books, but she still manages to the message out.
Manas Dutt
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review penned in 2017:
It is deeply saddening that Arundhati Roy is being subjected to base ridicule and has been reduced to the label of 'anti national', two words which don't just demean but actually obfuscate her empowering writing. This inaccurate and untrue label has been stamped upon Roy by such members of the nationalist brigade whose only operative is to issue labels. If anything, Arundhati Roy is too bold, and has every right to be not because of the medals and honours vested upon her, b
Dennis Dason
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
“The Algebra of Infinite justice” – first of all it didn’t look like a typical paperback due to its odd dimensions (Don’t judge a book by its cover – the book hammered me back after completing the book)

This book is a collection of strong worded political essays of Roy all published before 2002 in various magazines – some of it has been updated and upgraded for this book. All essays are voicing from a different perspective which were hitherto unheard or may be silenced then. It makes me wonder
The title refers to the article Roy published during the furor of demonstrations by a few city intellectuals defending the rights of villagers and tribals affected by building of dams destroying forests, human and wildlife habitats, natural balance of ecology, and more.

It was published as a long article in a periodical before being brought out as a book, and I thought it brought up and presented to general public many points that might have been known to scientists and authorities but certainly
Ved Gupta
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Arundhati Roy’s “Walking with Comrades”, I was expecting this book to be a very powerful and capable of changing the view with which you see the world around and I must say I cannot be more satisfied. As one of my friend said a few days ago, “Arundhati Roy is the most intelligent writer in India”, he couldn’t be more veracious. The facts in the book have been well researched and almost every point that Roy makes has been supported with impregnable evidence. Roy thinks more clearly ...more
Sandrine S
I read this a bit late so the essays didn't seem as relevant anymore in the political climate, but it was still an interesting read. An interesting view on political events in the beginning of the 2000's, which is beautifully written with a great amount of empathy. I would have liked more explanations however, as the arguments would appear stronger with the facts and statistics supporting them, but I guess that was not the intention of the book. While the political climate and the events have ch ...more
Anshu Raj Singh
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.

These lines by Arundhati Roy effectively sum up the message of the book.

Ms.Roy has has been
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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.

More about Arundhati Roy...
“I’d say that the only thing worth globalizing is dissent. It’s India’s best export.” 0 likes
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