Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity

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Overview

In sixteen linked essays, Nobel Prize--winning economist Amartya Sen discusses India's intellectual and political heritage and how its argumentative tradition is vital for the success of its democracy and secular politics. The Argumentative Indian is "a bracing sweep through aspects of Indian history and culture, and a tempered analysis of the highly charged disputes surrounding these subjects--the nature of Hindu traditions, Indian identity, the country's huge social and economic disparities, and its current ...

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The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity

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Overview

In sixteen linked essays, Nobel Prize--winning economist Amartya Sen discusses India's intellectual and political heritage and how its argumentative tradition is vital for the success of its democracy and secular politics. The Argumentative Indian is "a bracing sweep through aspects of Indian history and culture, and a tempered analysis of the highly charged disputes surrounding these subjects--the nature of Hindu traditions, Indian identity, the country's huge social and economic disparities, and its current place in the world" (Sunil Khilnani, Financial Times, U.K.).

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a book that needed to have been written. . . . It would be no surprise if it were to become as defining and influential a work as Edward Said's Orientalism."--Soumya Bhattacharya, The Observer (London)

"The product of a great and playful mind at the peak of its power, The Argumentative Indian is the most stimulating and enjoyable book about the idea and identity of India to be written for years."--William Dalrymple, The New York Review of Books

"An intellectual tour de force from an economist who can lay equal claim to the designations of sociologist, historian, political analyst, and moral philosopher . . . Breathtaking in its range and scholarly eclecticism."--Shashi Tharoor, The Washington Post Book World

"Masterfully tying Indian concerns to broader social and philosophical questions, Sen addresses the many aspects of Indian identity."--Library Journal

Foreign Affairs
This series of essays on Indian culture and identity by a Nobel laureate in economics is both intellectually challenging and a pleasure to read, an exceptional study by a wise scholar who has given careful thought to the complexities of India. Moving beyond the standard depictions of "Spiritual India" in mainstream sociology and anthropology, Sen delights in exploring paradoxes, in which Indian cultural attributes usually seen as problems and liabilities are made into virtues. With wit and insight, he turns conventional views on their heads: the "argumentative Indian" has produced a highly secular, heterodox culture that is comfortable with diversity and thus open to the pluralism fundamental to democracy. Sen advances his views in relaxed, undogmatic prose (providing support for his thesis that India's cultural tradition makes Indians exceptionally tolerant of diversity and contradictions). The reader may have some trouble keeping up with Sen as he shifts among ancient Indian history, theological debates, modern science, postindependence politics, and numerous other lively topics. Yet the reader can also be thankful that Sen spares him the theoretical jargon popular in contemporary social science.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312426026
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 9/5/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 343,324
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Amartya Sen was born in 1933 and grew up in Santiniketan and in Dhaka (now the capital of Bangladesh). As a student in India and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, he "seriously flirted, in turn, with Sanskrit, mathematics and physics before settling for the eccentric charms of economics," as he has written. Now Lamont University Professor at Harvard, he was Master of Trinity College from 1998 to 2004, and has taught at many other universities in Britain, the United States, and India. When Professor Sen was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998, he was the first Asian to be so honored.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    KENNY - DANIEL

    "YOU LOCKED ME OUT YOU FU<_>CKING BI<_>TCH!!!"

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    Stupid daniel diggans

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    Test

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    Posted July 3, 2014

    Daniel to Daniels Nook Hacks

    Delete that thing or i swear i will lock you out of the books you talk at.

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