Customer Reviews for

Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2014

    Showerz for Women

    * sholwers have separate closed off areas for privacy. The lady products and such r chained down. Fights will result inan hr of tge Death Room*

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  • Posted December 11, 2011

    Okay but more like an extended radio series that a scholarly look

    Mr. Inskeep spins a good tale and presents a variety of facts but his organization is haphazard and often seems sacrificed to the demands of the narrative:to keep the story rolling. The discussions of Karachi relative to other developing world "instant cities" seems superfluous to this city's story. His discussion of the country's and province's political parties is fragmented and not terribly instructive about their intersecting ethnic, sect, and class-based loyalties. A better but more challenging book is Anatol Lieven's, "Pakistan: A Hard country".

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    With Pakistan in the headlines, take the time to read this one

    The morning host of NPR's Morning Edition has written a worthwhile account of the staggering growth of the mega-city Karachi, Pakistan. Inskeep uses the bombings during Ashura in Karachi on December 28, 2009, to center several of his stories of the city. He reminds his readers this was a time when most Americans were more aware of the shoe-bomber than of these atrocities in Karachi.

    By using a series of anecdotes based on his journalistic interviews throughout the city, Inskeep familiarizes his reader with a number of the salient issues -- from the historical pressures that led to migration of the Hindu elite after independence in 1947 to the often far greater issues among the various groups of Muslims, both indigenous and those who immigrated, often poor and illiterate. He chronicles the impact of secular versus religious government; the impact of increasingly fundamentalist influences regarding alcohol, gambling, entertainment; the growth of illegal and corrupt practices; particularly to provide housing for the influx of refugees; the transitions to military government; the individuals and organizations, from city planners like Constantinos Doxiadis to ambulance entrepreneur Abdul Sattar Edhi to religious and political parties. The reader is given a quick and entertaining (and perhaps frightening) insight into the history and present of this city that grew from ~1M in 1950 to over 13M by 2010!

    The writing is journalistic in tone. The reader is sometimes treated to comparisons with other instant cities on the global scene before being brought back to Karachi. The story telling style may bury information useful for reading tomorrow's news, but makes the infusion of many names and places and groups palatable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

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    Posted December 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

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