Simon & Schuster £8.99 (303pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Duel, By Tariq Ali
Friday 25 September 2009
The thesis of Tariq Ali's third polemic on Pakistan takes the reader through the nation's 61-year history from Partition in 1947 to the fall of Pervez Musharraf. Ali's argument is a damning one – that if the nation were a plc, its two key board members - America and the army - would be "majority shareholders", and that its salvation must come from land reforms, not from its revolving door of corrupt dictators, damp democracies and medieval political dynasties.
The book's unique strength lies in Ali's aptitude for storytelling, from the tragic tale of an unpaid blue collar worker who sets fire to himself in despair to inebriated former president Yahya Khan careering onto the streets of Peshawar "stark naked". Then there's Ali's own brush with the Bengali resistance whom he hopes to meet in 1971 disguised as a Hindu trader with his hair dyed a "Hollywood serial killer" red.
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Anti-gay hate preacher accidentally tweets 4,000 followers cartoon clip of him 'confessing' to be a 'homosexual sodomite'
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Christmas 2014: The three most intriguing celebrity panto appearances
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked footage from Lana Del Rey rape video
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track