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Description

Author: Sudeep Chakravarti

Languages: English

Number Of Pages: 496

Binding: Hardcover

Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches

Release Date: 31-10-2017

Details: Product Description The Bengalis are the third largest ethno-linguistic group in the world, after the Han Chinese and the Arabs. A quarter of a billion strong and growing, the community has produced three Nobel laureates, world-class scientists, legendary political leaders and revolutionaries, iconic movie stars and directors and an unending stream of writers, philosophers, painters, poets and musicians of the first rank. But, bald facts aside, just who are the Bengalis? What is the community all about, stereotypically and beyond stereotype? In order to find the answers to these and related questions, the author (a Bengali born and steeped in his own culture but objective enough to give us a balanced reckoning of his fellows) delves deep into the culture, literature, history and social mores of the Bengalis. He writes with acuity about the many strengths of the community but does not flinch from showing us its weaknesses and tormented history. He points out that Bengalis are among the most civilized and intellectually refined people on earth but have also been responsible for genocide and racism of the worst kind. Their cuisine is justly celebrated but few remember the cause and effect of millions of Bengalis dying of famine. Renowned for their liberal attitudes, they are also capable of virulent religious fundamentalism. Argumentative and meditative, pompous and grounded, hypocritical and wise, flippant and deep... Bengalis are all this and much, much more. With erudition, wit and empathy, this book manages to capture their very essence. Unarguably, it is the definitive portrait of one of the world’s most vibrant and distinctive communities. Review (A) remarkable feat.’ – Scroll.in (Wit and elegance are perfectly matched along with research to make this offering a real page-turner.’ – IANS (A fascinating, charming book that will give you insight into why we are the way we are, an enigmatic people.’ – Pritish Nandy (Written with verve, energy, and polish, and drawing on considerable resources, both anecdotal and archival, Chakravarti’s book takes its place beside other contemporary attempts at ‘collective’ portraiture, such as Jeremy Paxman’s The English (1998) and John Hooper’s The Italians (2015) .’ – Supriya Chaudhuri in The Hindu (The Bengalis is by far the best non-fiction book from India I have read this year!’ – Sudeep Sen in Hindustan Times ( (An) excellent book ... Chakravarti has written a charming and serious book, which is fun to read... (His) wicked sense of humour makes this book a great read.’ – Bibek Debroy in Business Standard (Sudeep Chakravarti has written an excellent tome on the Bengalis...a unique genre: one that is both historically serious and culturally situated while being incredibly observant of our mores, language and myriad idiosyncrasies and being outrageously funny to boot.’ – Omkar Goswami in Indian Express The Bengalis is an important work, melding scholarship and reportage-fed analysis with style... the book will be read, defended and torn apart for years to come. For non-Bangalis, well, there’s no better way of finding out what the ‘others’ are all about.’ – OPEN …replete with both serious, well-researched information and interspersed with wry, tongue-in-cheek commentary, Bengalis and ‘not-Bengalis’ alike should congratulate the author for undertaking such a monumental task of defining an entire community.’ – The Statesman It’s hard to enumerate all the salient features that mark a Bengali — love for Tagore, PhDs, football, nicknames, argument, and addas don't even start to cover it. But Sudeep Chakravarti makes a valiant stab at it in The Bengalis, his lively account of their history, politics, ethnic identity, warts and all.’ – Times of India The range and depth of (The Bengalis) marks it out as a labour of love... for the obvious research and prodigious amount of work that has gone into it. The Bengalis is an astonishingly good book, written by an author at the height