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The Upside-Down Tree: India's Changing Culture Perfect Paperback – March 21, 2009

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Review

In its initial stages of growth, the banyan tree grows up like a regular tree, only to later send down shoots that thicken into trunks. This bi-directional growth of the banyan serves as an allegory for the directions of India's cultural change, in this exploration of Indian society, written by a generalist who has lived in and traveled around India on various occasions since the early 1990s. The bi-directional growth for India's culture, according to this allegory, includes Indians who, like the downward hanging branches of the tree, continue to live according to a belief in a transcendent order for human life shaped by tradition; other Indians who, like the banyan's central trunk see the future as an upward rise brought on by Western technology, education and lifestyles, toward universal material development and a secular, open society and still others who have managed to incorporate both into their lifestyles. --©2009 Book News Inc. Portland, OR

About the Author

Richard Connerney was a fellow for the Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA) and a former Phillips Talbot Fellow for the Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA). He lived and worked in Lucknow, India from 2005-2007. Before joining ICWA he was a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University and a senior editor of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.
Connerney studied Sanskrit and classical Tibetan on the way to earning an M.A. from the University of Hawaii in Asian Religion. First arriving in India in 1990 at the age of 19 as an exchange student, he returned in 1994 with the help of an overseas study grant from the University of Hawaii Office of International Studies and Programs. He speaks Hindi, Urdu and Nepali, among other languages.
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Algora Publishing (March 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875866484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875866482
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,613,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having spent considerable time in Northern India myself I can tell you it is another world. This author studied it, experienced it directly, and then understood it, or at least some of it, which he is able to masterfully communicate through his writing and story-telling. This book, The Upside-Down Tree: India's Changing Culture, is an excellent exploration of the synergy emerging at the intersection of tradition and modernity in India. Reading it took me back to places I don't remember visiting, and showed me things I thought I had already seen, but now I am not so sure. Connerney's writing captures India's maddening self-contradictions, as he shows repeatedly that the simple answers about India are almost always wrong. One of things I admire most is the author's ability to write fairly, with a depth of comprehension, while keeping himself fully in the story. I look forward to his next book.
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Format: Hardcover
I just want to say to my cousin Richard(Rick) Connerney "GREAT JOB" I look forward to seeing more books by you in the future, keep up the great work

Your cousin

Becky K.
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