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Aboard the Democracy Train: A Journey Through Pakistan's Last Decade Of Democracy (Anthem Politics And International Relations) (Anthem South Asian Studies) Paperback – 1 Apr 2011
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‘Hoodbhoy’s lively, and at times daring, eye-witness account provides many insights into Pakistan during her sixteen years at Dawn [and] reveals complex political machinations as well as the many shortcomings of the Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif governments, including flagrant corruption… Her harrowing and riveting tale [draws its value from] the events that she reported and witnessed and which provide the key to the discordant forces battling for control in Pakistan today.’ — Muneeza Shamsie, ‘Journal of Postcolonial Writing’
‘…A remarkably readable and anecdotal account of events in Pakistan. […]Hoodbhoy provides an excellent perspective to a foreign reader of life in Pakistan when, in spite of many dichotomies and contradictions, people co-existed in relative harmony. […] The forte of ‘Aboard the Democracy Train’ is its rich repertoire of anecdotes and quotable quotes. […] Told in Hoodbhoy’s racy style, politics assumes an exciting dimension.’ —‘Dawn’
'A powerful and courageous voice that represents the best of Pakistan’s emerging journalism… The first insider view of developments in Pakistan on the road to democracy.' —Shuja Nawaz, Director, South Asia Center, The Atlantic Council of the United States, and author of ‘Crossed Swords: Pakistan, its Army, and the Wars Within’
'Nafisa Hoodbhoy’s detailed reporting helped me look at the complex world of Pakistani politics differently. Hoodbhoy’s proximity to key players and her unique perspective as one of the few women journalists to cover Pakistan’s gripping narrative makes the ‘Democracy Train’ a great companion to the news of the day.' —Karen Frillmann, Managing Editor - Newsroom, New York Public Radio
'A story of a courageous journalist who defied conventional norms during times when very few other women were in this profession, and the country’s political environment was heavily influenced by conservative values, bloody ethnic conflict and religious bigotry. [Hoodbhoy] witnessed the making of history first-hand.' —Hassan Abbas, Quaid-i-Azam Chair Professor, South Asia Institute, Columbia University and author of ‘Pakistan’s Drift into Extremism: Allah, the Army, and America’s War on Terror’
'It was her fierce independence and commitment to her country that inspired [Hoodbhoy’s] decision to become a newspaper reporter – the only female reporter at the Pakistani daily, ‘Dawn’. Living in the United States after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, she realized that she was in a unique position to shed light on growing Islamic militancy and sectarian violence. She does so here with the irrepressible spirit that inspired her early journalism.' —Frances Stead Sellers, Deputy National Editor, Health, Science and the Environment, ‘The Washington Post’See all Product description
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So disregarding the timelines of events, the book was rather disappointing. I was expecting a lot more insight into the lives of the main characters playing in the Pakistani pantomime because of Nafisa's unique role as a woman in a man's world of journalism, but was disappointed. The personal observations on offer are few and far between with pages upon pages of events which are common knowledge to anyone following Pakistan.
Journalists are the ambassadors and representatives of their cultures. Their observations and deductions are critical components which can alter known perceptions. Pakistani journalists writing in English tend to work for big news corporations which tends to choke their opinions about the state of affairs in Pakistan. Nafisa has observed the Western reporters biased towards their own but has failed to challenge this leading trend among her Western compatriots. How did the gallant Jihadis in Afghanistan become despicable terrorists after the defeat of Soviet Union? How could the much traveled and privileged Western journalistic core completely misread the situation? Nafisa could have used her book to challenge her enlightened colleagues.
The book could be interesting for someone wanting a quick tour of the Pakistani political scene I guess......
If you are a student of history and or freedom and wonder how recent events will stand the test of time then your ticket is already waiting for you to climb Aboard the Democracy Train: A Journey through Pakistan's Last Decade of Democracy by Nafisa Hoodbhoy. It is an extremely revealing look, not just inside Pakistan, but in Human Beings and the struggles that affect us all.
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If you are a student of history and or freedom and wonder how recent events will stand the test of time then your ticket is already waiting for you to climb Aboard the Democracy Train: A Journey through Pakistan’s Last Decade of Democracy by Nafisa Hoodbhoy. It is an extremely revealing look, not just inside Pakistan, but in Human Beings and the struggles that affect us all.