South Asians in America Today
By Vijay Prashad
(New Press, The, Hardcover, 9781595587848, 208pp.)
Publication Date: June 2012
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
Within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center, misdirected assaults on Sikhs and other South Asians flared on streets across the nation, serving as harbingers of a more suspicious, less discerning, and increasingly fearful world view that would drastically change ideas of belonging and acceptance in America.
Weaving together distinct strands of recent South Asian immigration to the United States, Uncle Swami creates a richly textured analysis of the systems and sentiments behind shifting notions of cultural identity in a post 9/11 world. Vijay Prashad continues the conversation sparked by his celebrated work The Karma of Brown Folk and confronts the experience of migration across an expanse of generations and class divisions, from the birth of political activism among second generation immigrants to the meteoric rise of South Asian American politicians in Republican circles to the migrant workers who suffer in the name of American capitalism.
A powerful new indictment of American imperialism at the dawn of the twenty-first century, Uncle Swami restores a diasporic community to its full-fledged complexity, beyond model minorities and the specters of terrorism.
Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of The Karma of Brown Folk and The Darker Nations (The New Press); the latter was chosen as a Best Nonfiction Book of the year by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and won the Muzaffar Ahmad Book Prize. He lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.
[Prashad] has set the standard by which future works on the Asian diaspora must be judged.
Abraham Verghese, bestselling author of My Own Country and Cutting for Stone
[Prashad's] scholarly analysis of the current Islamophobia is laced with great quotes from scholars and activists, including Gandhi on the limits of tradition and Tolstoy on feel-good liberalism (give to the poor but don’t change anything). Like Prashad’s prizewinning The Darker Nations (2008), this is bound to spark discussion as he juxtaposes the platitudes of multiculturalism, which celebrate the peoples and traditions of "other" lands (Africa, Asia, Latin America), against the unchanging truth that non-Western continues to be viewed as subordinate.