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Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0773727388, Hardcover)One of the finest travel writers has taken on the most impenetrable country, describing his spiritual pilgrimages of the '70s and return visits of the '90s. Paul William Roberts says "[India] is the only country that feels like home to me, the only country whose airport tarmac I have ever kissed upon landing." But no sentimentality dulls Roberts's keen eye as he visits ashrams, junkie dens, and Mother Teresa's order, explaining the complex history of castes and colonialization as he goes. He ferrets out beauty and hypocrisy with an insightful take on the masses of humanity that travel and live there.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:41 -0400)
Paul William Roberts's journeys through India span twenty years, and in Empire of the Soul, he creates a remarkably sweeping portrait of the political, cultural, and spiritual life of the subcontinent. He shows us the crumbling palaces where maharajas live much as they did five centuries ago; the ashrams, temples, and caves, where the holy men are often as terrifying as they are tender; the remote villages reached by torturous journeys on ramshackle buses; and a. millionaire drug dealer's heavily guarded fortress on India's border with China. Roberts brings historical perspective to his observations of modern India. The decadence of a settlement of hippies stranded in the paradise of Goa is juxtaposed with an account of the brutality of the Inquisition in India. The plummeting fortunes of a family of Calcutta aristocrats serve to illustrate the fate of the entire city over the last few decades.
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