An engrossing, well-researched history of India’s nuclear ambitions.



A scholar examines India’s nuclear program in this debut book.

An assistant professor of international relations at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, Sarkar ranks among the world’s foremost experts on the history of India’s boisterous relationship with nuclear technology. In this volume, the culmination of years of international research, she offers readers a succinct history and compelling analysis of India’s nuclear program. Written chronologically, the book is divided into three parts, with the first section providing historical information on the intersection of India’s nuclear ambitions with the nation’s newfound independence in the 1940s. Part 2 explores the role of India’s nuclear expansion in the context of the Cold War, and the final section looks at the program’s history since the 1970s. In addition to presenting a well-written, concise history, the volume delivers an analysis that challenges prevailing narratives about India’s broader history since independence. For instance, the work dispels the “myth of peaceful India” built on “Gandhian ideals of nonviolence,” emphasizing right-wing demands for a strong Hindu nation-state. The book also highlights the presence of anti-nuclear activists as well as their encounters with “spectacular state violence.” This innovative analysis is backed by impressive research that effectively utilizes both Western and Indian archival sources, demonstrates a firm command of the academic literature, and gives readers nearly 70 pages of endnotes and bibliographic material. And while there is much here that will intrigue scholars in Sarkar’s field, the volume’s accessible writing will appeal to readers without a niche academic specialization. The book’s engaging style is complemented by an ample assortment of maps, charts, historical photographs, and other images. Although it’s partly inspired by the author’s own upbringing in India and her vivid memories of the country’s series of nuclear tests in 1998 that “shook South Asia,” the thorough account ends rather abruptly in the ’80s, presenting only a brief commentary on events since the ’90s. Despite this omission, the book provides not only a compelling history of India’s nuclear program, but also new insights into decolonization, independence movements, and the Cold War in developing nations.

An engrossing, well-researched history of India’s nuclear ambitions.

Pub Date: July 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5017-6440-0

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Cornell Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to...

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A French academic serves up a long, rigorous critique, dense with historical data, of American-style predatory capitalism—and offers remedies that Karl Marx might applaud.

Economist Piketty considers capital, in the monetary sense, from the vantage of what he considers the capital of the world, namely Paris; at times, his discussions of how capital works, and especially public capital, befit Locke-ian France and not Hobbesian America, a source of some controversy in the wide discussion surrounding his book. At heart, though, his argument turns on well-founded economic principles, notably r > g, meaning that the “rate of return on capital significantly exceeds the growth rate of the economy,” in Piketty’s gloss. It logically follows that when such conditions prevail, then wealth will accumulate in a few hands faster than it can be broadly distributed. By the author’s reckoning, the United States is one of the leading nations in the “high inequality” camp, though it was not always so. In the colonial era, Piketty likens the inequality quotient in New England to be about that of Scandinavia today, with few abject poor and few mega-rich. The difference is that the rich now—who are mostly the “supermanagers” of business rather than the “superstars” of sports and entertainment—have surrounded themselves with political shields that keep them safe from the specter of paying more in taxes and adding to the fund of public wealth. The author’s data is unassailable. His policy recommendations are considerably more controversial, including his call for a global tax on wealth. From start to finish, the discussion is written in plainspoken prose that, though punctuated by formulas, also draws on a wide range of cultural references.

Essential reading for citizens of the here and now. Other economists should marvel at how that plain language can be put to work explaining the most complex of ideas, foremost among them the fact that economic inequality is at an all-time high—and is only bound to grow worse.

Pub Date: March 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-674-43000-6

Page Count: 640

Publisher: Belknap/Harvard Univ.

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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A vital book for any library or classroom—and for foot soldiers in the fight for racial justice.


A compact, exceptionally diverse introduction to the history of black women in America, rooted in “everyday heroism.”

As Berry (History/Univ. of Texas; The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, From Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation, 2017, etc.) and Gross (History/Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick; Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex and Violence in America, 2016, etc.) persuasively argue, black women have “significantly shaped” our nation—and fought for their rights—throughout every period of American history. Yet their contributions often have been overlooked or underappreciated. In the latest book in the publisher’s ReVisioning American History series, the authors offer a selective but wide-ranging search-and-rescue mission for black female activists, trailblazers, and others who have left a mark. In the first chapter, they introduce Isabel de Olvera, who became one of the first black women to set foot on what is now American soil after joining an expedition from Mexico in the early 17th century. From there, Berry and Gross proceed chronologically, opening each chapter with a vignette about a signal figure such as Shirley Chisholm, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants who became the first black female member of Congress. Along the way, the authors frequently discuss members of traditionally underrepresented groups, among them the lesbian blues singer Gladys Bentley and the conjoined twins Millie and Christine McKoy, whose exploitation by mid-19th-century showmen suggests the perils faced by black women with disabilities. The result is a narrative that highlights both setbacks and achievements in many spheres—sports, business, education, the arts, military service, and more. While their overall approach is celebratory, Berry and Gross also deal frankly with morally complex topics, such as women who committed infanticide rather than see a child enslaved. Amid their gains, black women face enduring challenges that include police brutality and other forms of “misogynoir,” or “gendered, anti-Black violence.” For anyone hoping to topple the remaining barriers, this book is a font of inspiration.

A vital book for any library or classroom—and for foot soldiers in the fight for racial justice.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-8070-3355-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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