A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb
By: Amitava Kumar (author)Paperback
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Part reportage and part protest, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb is an inquiry into the cultural logic and global repercussions of the war on terror. At its centre are two men convicted in U.S. courts on terrorism-related charges: Hemant Lakhani, a seventy-year-old tried for attempting to sell a fake missile to an FBI informant, and Shahawar Matin Siraj, who was baited by the New York Police Department into a conspiracy to bomb a subway. Lakhani and Siraj were caught through questionable sting operations involving paid informants; both men received lengthy jail sentences. Their convictions were celebrated as major victories in the war on terror. In Kumar's riveting account of their cases, Lakhani and Siraj emerge as epic bunglers, and the U.S. government as the creator of terror suspects to prosecute. Kumar analyzed the trial transcripts and media coverage, and he interviewed Lakhani, Siraj, their families, and their lawyers.
Juxtaposing such stories of entrapment in the United States with narratives from India, another site of multiple terror attacks and state crackdowns, Kumar explores the harrowing experiences of ordinary people entangled in the war on terror. He also considers the fierce critiques of post-9/11 surveillance and security regimes by artists and writers including Coco Fusco, Paul Shambroom, and Arundhati Roy, as well as soldiers and torture victims.
Amitava Kumar is a novelist, poet, journalist, and Professor of English at Vassar College. He is the author of "Husband of a Fanatic," a "New York Times" "Editors' Choice"; "Bombay-London-New York," a New Statesman (UK) "Book of the Year"; and "Passport Photos." He is the editor of several books, including "Away: The Indian Writer as an Expatriate," "The Humour and the Pity: Essays on V.S. Naipaul," and "World Bank Literature." He is also an editor of the online journal "Politics and Culture" and the screenwriter and narrator of the prize-winning documentary film "Pure Chutney." Kumar's writing has appeared in the "Nation," "Harper's," "Vanity Fair," "American Prospect," the "Chronicle of Higher Education," the "Hindu," and other publications in North America and India.
Acknowledgments; Prologue: A Missile in the Living Room Introduction: Have You Seen This Man? Part I. Lakhani 1. Birth of a Salesman; 2. The Late Career of the Sting Operation; 3. The Art of Surveillance; 4. The Terror and the Pity Part II. Siraj 5. I Have Delivered the Pizza; 6. A Collaborator in Kashmir; 7. A Night in an Army Camp; 8. Tourist-Theorist-Terrorist Epilogue: We Are the World Notes; Bibliography; Index
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- ID: 9780822345787
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