New York Review of Books on India: “A Mighty Wind”

Max Rodenbeck of The Economist has an excellent essay on Modi and the BJP in the April 19 edition of the New York Review of BooksThe essay is primarily a review of Prashant Jha’s excellent, How the BJP Wins, but the author very kindly weaves in a review of my own book, When Crime Pays. Here’s a selection:

In recent years the BJP has mopped up an ever-growing share of this pool; the election commission says that 80 percent of all corporate political funding in Gujarat in the three years before November’s election went to Modi’s party. As Milan Vaishnav points out in When Crime Pays, a thorough, disturbing, and often amusing scholarly analysis of the seamy side of Indian politics, this imbalance may be seen as payback. In the 1960s, Congress received as much as thirty times more in corporate donations than any other party.

The essay is very well-crafted and highly readable. You can read the entire thing here.

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My review of Snigdha Poonam’s “Dreamers”

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I cannot recommend Snigdha Poonam’s new book, Dreamers: How Young Indians are Changing Their World, strongly enough. I found it to be one of the most insightful books of recent vintage when it comes to explaining the social churning that is going on in 21st century India.

I wrote a review of the book for Foreign Affairs. Here’s the key takeaway:

Dreamers smashes the slick hype that has been constructed around India’s aspiring middle classes, calling our attention to the corruption, frustration, and dashed hopes bubbling beneath the surface. It may be convenient for India’s elites to whitewash these inconvenient truths. But, as Poonam shows, it would also be suicidal.

You can read the full review here.