The end of the 2015 calendar year has brought a new honor to Trinity College’s George and Martha Kellner Chair in South Asian History and Professor of International Studies Vijay Prashad.
The Hindu, a leading newspaper in South India, has selected Idathu Thiruppam Elithalla, the Tamil edition of Prashad’s book No Free Left: The Futures of Indian Communism, as one of the Top 10 Best Books of 2015.
According to the book’s publisher, New Delhi-based LeftWord Books, “No Free Left is a critical examination of the past of Indian Communism and an assessment of its future. … [It] stays alive to the details of the present while drawing out the long term dynamic, combining a rich historical survey with acute political analysis of the present. It is a compelling work for students of Indian politics. For activists of the Left, it is indispensable reading. Above all, it is a live work, an invitation to debate and discussion.”
In a review of No Free Left published by The Hindu in April 2015, Arvind Sivaramakrishnan wrote, in part, “Vijay Prashad’s commanding knowledge of the material … his passion for the subject and his meticulous research combine to show that for the left, new tomorrows await.” To read the full review, click here.
Prashad said that the recognition his book has received indicates the importance of its subject. “I wrote this book largely because I remain concerned about the fact that over 780 million Indians live in deprivation. There is so little discussion about their well-being and future,” he said. “Only the Indian Left – weak as it is – consistently takes up the issues of these Indians. The book assesses the ability of the Left to gain traction in India and, therefore, to take on directly the problem of inequality. That The Hindu valued the book suggests to me that there are others there who agree that inequality needs to be addressed head on.”
Prashad, who is the director of international studies at Trinity College, is the author of 18 books and is the chief editor at LeftWord Books in New Delhi. He is also a regular columnist for Frontline (India), al-Araby al-Jadeed, and BirGün (Turkey). His work can be read monthly in The Hindu (India).
Written by Andrew J. Concatelli; Photo by John Atashian