A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb.

Position:Book review

Amitava Kumar (author); A FOREIGNER CARRYING IN THE CROOK OF HIS ARM A TINY BOMB; Duke University Press (Political Science) $21.95 ISBN: 9780822345787

Nearly a decade after 9/11, that dayas events continue to reverberate through American life. The Homeland Security Act bestowed unprecedented powers upon federal, state, and local governments in the name of fighting the war on terror. What many news media and, indeed, many American citizens seem to forget is that terrorism is not new to the US nor to other nations.

The war against terrorism, the extraordinary powers government gives itself to fight it, and the use of torture as an intelligence-gathering technique are the themes of Amitava Kumaras contemplation of the stories of two men who may have been scapegoats of the US government. His book also explores the roots of Abu Ghraib, the US response to 9/11, and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kumar has authored three other books and is a professor of English at Vassar College. Indian-born and a long-term US resident, Kumar is able to compare and comment on events in both countries. For example, he views 9/11 and the Mumbai attacks of 2008 as somewhat similar events. His comparison of the unsettling popularity of sting operations in US law enforcement and in Indian TV news reporting is startling and thought-provoking. The bookas title is a slight paraphrase (abomba...

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