"Mr. Kumar's book isn't especially long, but it is a many-tentacled beast. In part it's a deft survey of post-9/11 art, from its fiction and nonfiction to its foreign films and obscure works of performance art. At its heart, however, [the book] is about the ordinary men and women, brown-skinned in general and Muslim in particular, who have had their lives upended by America's enraged security apparatus. Mr. Kumar calls them the "small people," and to them he extends his own impressive and trembling moral imagination... --A Foreigner C
"This is a very important book since it speaks of crimes committed by the State under the garb of tackling terror. Be it the paranoia in the U.S. after 9/11 or in India [after] the 2001 attack on Parliament, liberal democracies, while accusing individuals of moral turpitude, have violated all norms of justice and fair play themselves." --oRahul Pandita, OPEN Magazine
"A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb imaginatively portrays the forces shaping contemporary India, and it is a remarkable reader of mass culture and popular narrative forms, of the worlds of Hindi cinema, pulp fiction, sensational journalism, and globalized media. Amitava Kumar's rendering of the Starr Report through the experience of the protagonist, Binod, shows us how a seemingly quintessential American narrativeoshaped by domestic politics, the culture wars, and a market-driven mediaocan travel all the way to Delhi in a 'cheap, pirated version,' and be remade by alternative forms of entrepreneurship." oSiddhartha Deb, author of An Outline of the Republic and The Point of Return "Kumar's searching and humane account of the global consequences of the U.S. "war on terror" gets behind the rhetoric and state public relations campaigns in a brisk but thoughtful narrative. Kumar covers intellectual and artistic responses to American domestic and foreign security policies, including the work of conceptual artist Hasan Elahi, who after being randomly interrogated by the FBI after 9/11, has taken to documenting and uploading to his Web site every move he makes. In his own reportage, Kumar (Husband of a Fanatic) focuses on two legal cases, in whose details, including his own interviews with the defendants, he astutely deconstructs the logic of what he sees as a burgeoning police state and the global order (or disorder) it encourages. The first is that of Hemant Lakhani, a boastful 70-year-old smalltime London clothier arrested in a sting operation delivering a sample shoulder-fired missile to an FBI informant. The other concerns Shahawar Matin Siraj, drawn into a bomb plot by undercover New York police. An arresting and heartrending work of public protest and valuable social analysis, this work contributes forcefully to a subtle, human-scaled accounting of 21st-century geopolitics. " - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review "Amitava Kumar has written a unique book. It is ultimately a book about neoliberalism, about the public interest defined as militarism rather than as well-being. It is a book about the imagination reduced to suspicion and fear rather than hope and liberty. It is a book that swells from India to Indiana, depicting the global ecology of antiterrorism."oVijay Prashad, author of The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World "Kumar's book succeeds in lifting some of the fog that engulfs the war on terror. It's a must-read."oShobhan Saxena, The Times of India * "An important book... Kumar is able to combine painstaking research, taut pacing, and thought-provoking analysis to produce an outstanding work of nonfiction."oAayush Soni, Business Standard "Kumar builds, with considerable finesse, a case against the brutality and incompetence of the state, both Indian and American."oSadanand Dhume, Outlook India * "I can't think of a more urgent, important, and necessary book." --oPradeep Sebastian, The Hindu
About the Author
Amitava Kumar is a novelist, poet, journalist, and Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of "Husband of a Fanatic," a "New York Times" "Editors' Choice"; "Bombay-London-New York," a New Statesman (UK) "Book of the Year"; and "Passport Photos." He is the editor of several books, including "Away: The Indian Writer as an Expatriate," "The Humour and the Pity: Essays on V.S. Naipaul," and "World Bank Literature." He is also an editor of the online journal "Politics and Culture" and the screenwriter and narrator of the prize-winning documentary film "Pure Chutney." Kumar's writing has appeared in the "Nation," "Harper's," "Vanity Fair," "American Prospect," the "Chronicle of Higher Education," the "Hindu," and other publications in North America and India.