Uncle Swami

South Asians in America Today

An illuminating portrait of a group of Americans made inadvertent victims of the war on terror, from the prizewinning author of The Darker Nations and The Karma of Brown Folk

“[Prashad] has set the standard by which future works on the Asian diaspora must be judged.”
—Abraham Verghese, bestselling author of My Own Country and Cutting for Stone

Within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center, misdirected assaults on Sikhs and other South Asians flared in communities across the nation, serving as harbingers of a more suspicious, less discerning, and increasingly fearful worldview that would drastically change ideas of belonging and acceptance in America.

Weaving together distinct strands of recent South Asian immigration to the United States, Uncle Swami creates a richly textured discussion of a diverse and dynamic people whose identities are all too often lumped together, glossed over, or simply misunderstood. Continuing the conversation sparked by his celebrated work The Karma of Brown Folk, Prashad confronts the experience of migration across an expanse of generations and class divisions, from the birth of political activism among second-generation immigrants and the meteoric rise of South Asian American politicians in Republican circles to migrant workers, who are at the mercy of the vicissitudes of the American free market.

A powerful new indictment of cultural and racial politics in America at the dawn of the twenty-first century, Uncle Swami restores a diasporic community to its full-fledged complexity, beyond both model minorities and the specters of terrorism.

Praise

“Intellectually feisty and wry . . . part of a clear-sighted assessment of a fast-changing people and world.”
The Times Literary Supplement
“Vijay Prashad is our own Frantz Fanon. His writing of protest is always tinged with the beauty of hope.”
—Amitava Kumar, author of Passport Photos
“With unflinching clarity and deep compassion,[Prashad] mines the post-9/11 landscape to locate the source of an emerging collective identity as the racial other.”
—Rinku Sen, executive director of the Applied Research Center and publisher of Colorlines.com
“Fascinating . . . remarkable.”
The Village Voice
“[Prashad] has set the standard by which future works on the Asian diaspora must be judged.”
—Abraham Verghese, bestselling author of My Own Country and Cutting for Stone
“This compelling and carefully researched account reveals not only the contradictions in America’s treatment of its South Asian immigrants, but the contradictions of the great American project itself. ”
—Minal Hajratwala, author of Leaving India

Books by Vijay Prashad

The Darker Nations
A People's History of the Third World

Vijay Prashad