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61 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bottom-up indictment of violent global capitalism
Arundhati Roy's "War Talk" is written with an unique blend of passion and moral clarity. By sympathizing with the struggles of the lower and middle classes against their increasing exploitation by the powerful, the book serves as a bottom-up indictment of violent global capitalism. Ms. Roy suggests that war is merely the most extreme manifestation of an elitist capitalist...
Published on April 28, 2003 by Malvin

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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A brave book
Arundhati Roy has again taken aim at globalization and the injustice she sees inherent in the world today. She provides the type of information that doesn't come close to making the nightly news in America. From war to economic integration, Roy tackles the sacred cows in America with no remorse.
My main complaint about "War Talk" is that the book is a collection of...
Published on June 14, 2003 by C. Mclemore


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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Isn't Pacifism, August 26, 2007
By 
Alyosha (MidCoast, Maine) - See all my reviews
This review is from: War Talk (Paperback)
Normally I never read books like this and by that I mean books from the Moore/Franken-Hannity-Coulter crowd. You get nothing insightful out of them but this one is pretty short and I wasn't doing anything else for the afternoon. Obviously then I knew what I was getting into before I read this book. I knew Arundhati Roy was but a socialist caricature. I knew she was involved with important and eminently serious groups like 'Queers Against Israel.' I knew she deeply hated the idea of the United States using its glorious military might to brutally smash Islamic terrorism. None of this seemed to matter much at the time since I find Arundhati to be a captivatingly beautiful woman (at times) and that level of attraction has a way of sort of momentarily evaporating my repugnance for these types of people.

The thing is I've built up an immunity of sorts to some of the aforementioned flaws. What I simply cannot stand however are folks who try to mask their American hatred as patriotism and that is precisely what Roy does with this book of hers. This is just another tract on how citizenship, good and productive citizenship, is mostly a passive activity, how nobody should be responsible to anyone else, and how pacifism and dissent are the highest forms of patriotism. In typical hippy/idealist fashion citizenship for Arundhati is more of a state of mind than anything else; it certainly doesn't place any demands on the individual. I mean, I love Jim Morrisson...doesn't that make me American ENOUGH?

NO! I hate the way folks like her try to pass off inaction as something noble. Citizenship is about sharing an intimate sense of responsibility to your community, passing something greater onto future generations, and, GASP!, occassionally having to bite the bullet (no pun) and storm a beach head or advance on a hill. I don't know where this idea came from that America, that the American idea, is just this right to do whatever you want. I really have no idea. I really have no clue how someone could tell you she owns a Doors album and then seriously expect you to consider her a decent citizen, a real American. Many of us have deep roots in this country, respect for its ideals, family who made supreme sacrifices so that we could live safely and freely. Books that make light of all this (especially when written by folks that have been here for like MAYBE 5, 10 years) is to heavy a burden to bear. This is just another diatribe that attempts to crush that patriotic spirit and convince us that wallowing around on the couch writing poetry would be a much better way to live ones life.

This isn't even authentic pacifism either, which I don't even have a problem with if it is indeed genuine. Roy detests the notion of the United States using its glorious military might to brutally smash Islamic warmongers though not suprisingly her pacifism seems to dissapear when it comes to these Islamic fanatics themselves. If HAMAS wants to blow up Pizza Huts and run into elementary schools with guns blazing then that's legitimate retaliation. If a United States Marine shoots a civilian who provides moral support to the folks planting IED's all over the neighborhood then he should be Court Marshaled, convicted, and slapped with a life sentence. Nothing new here folks.

This woman is in outer space. Anyone who mentions what a great tragedy a nuclear attack would be for the squirrel and butterfly populations (she really says this!) needs to reexamine their view of what exactly is important in this world.

We aren't going to change human nature anytime soon folks. War is something we're going to have to learn to live with.
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11 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 for bravery, but....., September 13, 2003
By 
C. Catherwood "writer" (Cambridge UK and Richmond VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Talk (Paperback)
Roy deserves 5 out of 5 for bravery, but alas she does not live in the real world! America is a far more complex nation than she allows - witness the presence of so many reviews in favor of her book! America is divided fairly equally between liberal and conservative, so to lump all Americans together as people of her view seem to do is surely rather unfair to those Americans of different views. Christopher Catherwood (a British reviewer), author of CHRISTIANS, MUSLIMS AND ISLAMIC RAGE
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11 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brave, venomous like a problem child, May 19, 2004
By 
Eldho Thomas (Saint Louis, MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Talk (Paperback)
Arundhati Roy is like an angry teenager lashing out at her parents. May be right, but immature. So much anger in pointing out the negative points of the new world order, but offering no solution. In her flowing style packed with anger, she criticizes everything and everyone who is powerful - from Indian prime minister to US president to the media.
She sounds like a left-liberal in her speeches and essays. Her words are filled with the same kind of stuff that fascists must be using to herd their army. In that sense, there is no difference between being a fascist and being a left extremist. Both are equally dangerous. In my opinion, if you just point out the problems without offering a solution, it can only be fatal.
Like a preacher who quotes just the verses from the Bible that he can play upon, Roy quotes words from people like George Bush or Vajpayee and plays upon them to project the negative version of it. Like the preacher, she gives her audience (which must be mostly leftists who are already disgruntled) what they want to hear. It can't be anything but dangerous.
I must say this is a good read if you keep your head on the shoulder and be realistic and read it critically. If this book contains what you always wanted to hear, you are in trouble.
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4 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misfactualism at its best, December 31, 2003
This review is from: War Talk (Paperback)
This book has been widely acclaimed as a `dissent' against the evils of globalization and militarism but the truth remains veiled behind an enigma. Here are essays that `confront' large corporations and so-called `pogroms' against the Muslims of India. First the corporations are the only reason India isn't poorer then it is. If it wasn't for the millions of jobs provided by American corporations like Intel India would be a largely agrarian state with nothing to offer and even more starving poor. In the issue of militarism the essays are totally misfactual. Roy looks at the attacks on Muslims but she totally ignores the mass murder of Hindus in Bangladesh or the Sikhs in Pakistan and she ignores the massacres of Hindus daily in Kashmir who are simply trying to go to their holy places. Thus the arguments seem to say that the communal violence is only one sided when the reality is that it goes both ways and the essays simply ignore one entire side, a terrible dishonest distortion which betrays its subjects and betrays India.
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11 of 42 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Please stick to fiction, Ms Roy., February 28, 2004
By 
A. Pathak "Thrill Seeker" (San Mateo, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Talk (Paperback)
No doubt that the author is a master of prose and interweaves words poetically like no other. I'm a big fan and I picked up this book seeing her name on the cover.
But presenting real facts is completly another ball game. I'm a liberal and against war too, but this book goes to such an extreme in left-liberalism and presenting half cooked facts, that I was grossly disappointed.

This book is a collection of essays which has been written a while ago and only a couple are recent, some of them lifted directly from her previous book, power politics. It is nothing but an attack on American policies and BJP, the ruling party of India. Factwise, this book presents nothing new. It is very much the thoughts of the author coming out from her narrow perspective with no alternatives or solutions. And considering she was arrested once by the ruling party in India, the venom outpouring against them is quite obvious.

On the other hand, I appreciate her courage to bring up the topic of inherent injustice of globalization and development and the travails of war. But I would advice others to spend their money elsewhere.
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6 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateur demagogue, May 18, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: War Talk (Paperback)
Arundhati Roy seems to have a problem with facts, but she does have a good command of demagoguery. Her ideas have been culled from various media sources, and she delivers recycled misinformation with flair. She spouts the typical anti-American mush; it's a laundry list of liberal complaints that you've heard over and over again. What's amazing is her stunning lack of original thought. Why read Democratic talking points when you can hear them on television every day? But if you're into America bashing, then she's the perfect America hater with foreign blood.
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8 of 127 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateur demagogue, May 18, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: War Talk (Paperback)
Arundhati Roy seems to have a problem with facts, but she does have a good command of demagoguery. Her ideas have been culled from various media sources, and she delivers recycled misinformation with flair. She spouts the typical anti-American mush; it's a laundry list of liberal complaints that you've heard over and over again. What's amazing is her stunning lack of original thought. Why read Democratic talking points when you can hear them on television every day? But if you're into America bashing, then she's the perfect America hater with foreign blood.
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War Talk
War Talk by Arundhati Roy (Paperback - April 1, 2003)
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