Columns Anthologized
Vikhar Ahmed Sayeed
ISLAM, SOUTH ASIA AND THE COLD WAR by A.G. Noorani Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2013, 469 pp., 875
April 2013, volume 37, No 4

The book under review brings together fifty-one book reviews and essays written by A. G. Noorani over the past four decades. These are broadly grouped under three categories: Islam and Muslims (14), South Asian Themes (13) and the Ravages of the Cold War (24). Published in several leading magazines and newspapers like Frontline, The Statesman, Indian Express, The Illustrated Weekly of India and Criterion, a quarterly magazine published in Pakistan, the essays provide a window to the thinking of this prolific scholar and reviewer.

Having a legal background, Noorani has a straightforward secular and liberal approach that is combined with a positivist method of academic analysis. He believes that there is a certain truth to be discerned, and he hacks away relentlessly on the minutiae of various sources to argue his thesis. While this might seem like an outdated method of analysis among many social scientists, there is no doubt that this scholarly work is necessary and is appreciated by his many readers who regularly wait for his fortnightly column in Frontline.

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