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Shooting for a Century: The India-Pakistan Conundrum Hardcover – 24 Jul 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution (24 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815721862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815721864
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,084,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"The fresh and the treatment forthright: both worth noting in a scholar-practitioner whose 50-year career of writing on India and Pakistan might have left him with little new to say about bridging the divide between the two countries. That Cohen is able to take up the challenge stems from his frank admission that the 'full normalization' of relations between India and Pakistan is unlikely for at least another generation: they could still be shooting at each other a century after partition." --International Affairs

About the Author

Stephen P. Cohen is a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. Long considered one of America's premier experts on South Asia, he is the author of numerous books, including India: Emerging Power and The Idea of Pakistan (Brookings). He is also coauthor with Sunil Dagsupta of Arming without Aiming: India's Military Modernization and lead author on The Future of Pakistan, both published by Brookings.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mahmot1 on 24 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Can India and Pakistan ever reconcile and move towards peace? The author has tried to answer this intractable conflict which he maintains is almost as bad as the Israel-Palestine issue!

Why in his opinion in our communications age of almost transparent people to people contact is the hate not disappearing? It could only mean that the people of both countries are susceptible to their respective countless propaganda which is stopping the relations from getting better.

He starts by establishing the context of the conflict. There were three forces vying for power in pre-partition India, the nationalist Congress, nationalist Muslim League and the separatist leaning Independent states, who never wanted to merge either with India or Pakistan. Cohen makes an important observation which as a Pakistani I can vouch for, 'important stories (of the great Partition) of members of both communities who helped and rescued members of different faiths are mostly undocumented. The great authors and cultural figures who recognised and opposed Partition to unmentioned. Even official history projects in both countries pay little attention to these stories and are devoted mainly to building national solidarity around negative distrust or hatred of another religious or ethnic community.' This atmosphere of mutual hate has created a strong prejudice against one another. Cohen makes very astute observations, India has taken the mantle of the Raj dominance, while Pakistan has adopted a defensive Israel like stance. While India shuns outside interference in this regards, Pakistan cultivates it actively. In fact Pakistan is expert in lobbying its defensive position, constantly reminding anyone who listens of its vulnerability and strategic position.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An Outstanding Book 10 July 2013
By T.V. Paul - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an outstanding book; one of the rare intellectual projects that attempts to understand the reasons for the persistence of the India-Pakistan rivalry for nearly 65 years. It is a major advancement in our understanding of the complex factors involved in the India-Pakistan conflict dynamics. It also offers multiple pathways through which this conflict could be resolved or prolonged. Although the book is not a theory-driven work, it does use some relevant theories, especially towards the end. Its strength lies in bringing out the deep empirical factors, especially from the decades of understanding Prof. Cohen has developed as a result of his interactions with the protagonists from the region as well as US policymakers. It deftly uses published materials from the region to show the differing perspectives of the actors in both countries. South Asia regional specialists, policymakers, and all others interested in enduring rivalries, especially among international relations scholars must take this book seriously.
T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations, McGill University and author of The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World Oxford University Press, 2013.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Exceptionally Clear Analysis 30 Jun 2013
By E. Slavitt - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an exceptionally clear and cogent analysis of a part of the world that does not get sufficient attention in the United States. India and Pakistan have been in conflict since their inception and there appears to be no prospect for resolution. The history of wars between them is made even more threatening by their possession of nuclear weapons. Mr. Cohen does a masterful job of distilling down his deep knowledge of the region into an organized and insightful analysis accessible even to readers unfamiliar with the region and its history. It is a fascinating story of two countries which profoundly misunderstand each other and, to some extent, themselves. I recommend it highly.
3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One sided 3 Feb 2014
By khurram shahzad - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book appears to take a lopsided view of the conflict between these two South Asian neighbours. Cohen seems to be influenced more by prevailing politics than by examining and analysing facts. Every thing Pakistan has done seems wrong to the writer, even the UN resolution on Kashmir has been belittled; Pakistan attempts and initiatives though acknowledged have been summarily dismissed. Everything Indian has been potrayed as logical and rational. The so called a South Asian expert has fallen into the trap where intellectual honesty seems to have been overshadowed by the policy to support India in everything. The author has flown with the partisan tide - perhaps a necessity for a think tank worker!
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
As usual, another book by Stephen Cohen for Indian audience. 21 April 2014
By LoneTree - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Stephen Cohen, while talking to a Pakistani audience (that has paid his speaking fee) acknowledged that some intellectuals in India also believe that Kashmir issues need to be resolved because it is weighing down India's advancement.
But that opinion never shows up in his writings. He knows that if he ever contradicts Indian position on Kashmir, he would become 'persona non-grata' in India, Mr Cohen's main audience.
Mr Cohen has written many books for Indian audience, including one predicting that India would be next super power.
If you are pro-India and want to hear echo of your own thoughts, go ahead and read this book; you would be happy with it.
If you want real critical analysis, look somewhere else.
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