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The Checkbook and the Cruise Missile: Conversations with Arundhati Roy Paperback – March 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
The first interview "Knowledge and Power" was conducted in February 2001. As the title suggests, the focus of this interview is on knowledge and power and what both mean to Arundhati Roy. Roy discusses, as she does in her essays, the abuse of power by the Indian government and the arrogance of controlling knowledge. Roy mentions how knowledge can (and has) caused arrogance and corruption in the intellectual elites. Specific instances mentioned include the government letting Enron control and own so much of India's power structure, and the irresponsible destruction caused by the Big Dam projects. This interview paints, in broad strokes, a picture of the overall worldview of Arundhati Roy. This is fantastic stuff. In Roy we discover an intelligent, accomplished, passionate woman who has taken the very human responsibility of trying to make a difference in the world.
The second interview, taken in September 2002, is a much shorter essay. Titled "Terror and the Maddened King", the essay begins with David Barsaman questioning Roy about the charges brought against her because of the novel "The God of Small Things".Read more ›
Despite her success, Roy is quite content to live away from celebrity, in India, which she says maintains a measure of the wildness that has long been put under the bulldozer of Western "progress":
"In India we are fighting to retain a wilderness that we have. Whereas in the West, it's gone. Every person that's walking down the street is a walking bar code. You can tell where their clothes are from, how much they cost, which designer made which shoe, which shop you bought each item from. Everything is civilized and tagged and valued and numbered and put in its place. Whereas in India, the wilderness still exists - the unindocrinated wilderness of the mind, full of untold secrets and wild imaginings. It's threatened, but we're fighting to retain it. We don't have to reconjure it. It's there. It's with us. It's not got signposts all the way. There is that space that hasn't been completely mapped and taken over and tagged and trademarked. I think that's important. And it's important that in India, we understand that it's there and we value it.
Roy expresses a remarkably matter-of-fact courage and an unbiased reason in the face of the rabid nationalism and religious fundamentalism and fanaticism that engenders, among other dark clouds, the nuclear brinkmanship between India and Pakistan.Read more ›
She doesn't let the interview format get the best of her, turning her responses into lectures. Instead, she is a smart-alec sometimes and just plain smart at other times. Her dedication to making the world a better place is personal, with roots in her childhood in India. As she describes US imperialism, corporate power, and corruption in the Indian government, she ties it all to her own political development. This is an important book, easy to read but very informative and inspiring.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To say that Arundhati Roy is brilliant, is an understatement. She marries intellect with pithy eloquence, saying so much in a few words. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I read and very much enjoyed Ms. Roy's book, The God of Small Things. A short time ago I was driving home after having participated in a candle light vigil in support of Cindy... Read morePublished on September 23, 2005 by Lea Ann Morris
I teach a course on Women and Work and Miriam Ching Louie's Sweatshop Warriors is the first book I have found that really describes sweatshops from the workers' perspectives, as... Read morePublished on March 25, 2004 by Laura Tabili