If you're looking for some solid, smart reading to kick off the new year, heads up. Renown scholar/author Vijay Prashad's Uncle Swami: South Asians in America Today is now available in paperback from The New Press. Yes, you need not carry around that burdensome hardcover tome to get your knowledge on.
In his groundbreaking classic The Karma of Brown Folk, Prashad evaluated the American stereotype of South Asians as a "model minority." In Uncle Swami, Prashad follows up and expands upon this analysis to explore South Asian American history and identity in the wake of shifting cultural attitudes wrought by 9/11.
Uncle Swami traces the distinct strands of South Asian migration in America through generations and class divisions, from the first organizations of immigrant communities to the rising influence of the India Lobby in Washington to post-9/11 assaults against people mistaken as terrorists.
Within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center, misdirected assaults on Sikhs and other South Asians flared in communities across the nation, serving as harbingers of a more suspicious, less discerning, and increasingly fearful worldview that would drastically change ideas of belonging and acceptance in America.It's an insightful, thoughtful book, written with Prashad's trademark wit and passion. For further information about the book, visit The New Press website. You can also follow Vijay Prashad on Twitter.
Weaving together distinct strands of recent South Asian immigration to the United States, Uncle Swami creates a richly textured discussion of a diverse and dynamic people whose identities are all too often lumped together, glossed over, or simply misunderstood. Continuing the conversation sparked by his celebrated work The Karma of Brown Folk, Prashad confronts the experience of migration across an expanse of generations and class divisions, from the birth of political activism among second-generation immigrants and the meteoric rise of South Asian American politicians in Republican circles to migrant workers, who are at the mercy of the vicissitudes of the American free market.
A powerful new indictment of cultural and racial politics in America at the dawn of the twenty-first century, Uncle Swami restores a diasporic community to its full-fledged complexity, beyond both model minorities and the specters of terrorism.