Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India by Sujatha Gidla

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Read Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India Online Free - The stunning true story of an untouchable family who become teachers, and one, a poet and revolutionary

Like one in six people in India, Sujatha Gidla was born an untouchable. While most untouchables are illiterate, her family was educated by Canadian missionaries in the 1930s, making it possible for Gidla to attend elite schools and move to America at the age of twenty-six. It was only then that she saw how extraordinary—and yet how typical—her family history truly was. Her mother, Manjula, and uncles Satyam and Carey were born in the last days of British colonial rule. They grew up in a world marked by poverty and injustice, but also full of possibility. In the slums where they lived, everyone had a political side, and rallies, agitations, and arrests were commonplace. The Independence movement promised freedom. Yet for untouchables and other poor and working people, little changed. Satyam, the eldest, switched allegiance to the Communist Party. Gidla recounts his incredible life—how he became a famous poet, student, labor organizer, and founder of a left-wing guerrilla movement. And Gidla charts her mother’s battles with caste and women’s oppression. Page by page, Gidla takes us into a complicated, close-knit family as they desperately strive for a decent life and a more just society.

A moving portrait of love, hardship, and struggle, Ants Among Elephants is also that rare thing: a personal history of modern India told from the bottom up.

Title : Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0865478112
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 400 pages


Pond rated it ★★★★☆

August 08, 2017

**SPOILER ALERT** This is a stunning biography of an untouchable family involved in the Naxalite insurgency in 1940-70's India. The author's uncle was a leader in this revolutionary movement and the author herself, now working as a subway conductor in New York City, was a student agitator in her y...

kathyrn rated it ★★★★☆

July 19, 2017

thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and netgalley for an ARC. I've just started reading this and honestly thought the caste system in India didn't exist anymore. This memoir is captivating and engaging. A moving portrait of love, hardship, and struggle, Ants Among Elephants is also that rare thing:...

Hari rated it ★★★★★

August 06, 2017

This is a rare book. It's not easy for others to know the life-stories of untouchables because those whose lives are affected lack the wherewithal to share them. And, even if some of them are capable of sharing, those stories would identify them untouchables, and further subjects them to discrimi...

Robert rated it ★★★☆☆

July 31, 2017

Glad I read this one, because it showed me a lot about a world that I knew only a bit about. I had friends from India, and they'd talk a wee bit about the lingering effects of caste prejudice if prompted, but mostly they steered very clear of the subject (for understandable reasons). This book di...

Mollie rated it ★★★★☆

July 27, 2017

This book opens the reader's eyes to a way of life that is hard to see. Generations of suffering were depicted on these pages. Family members braving circumstances no one should be subjected to. I believe this is an important read. It contains essential information for anyone who does not want to...

Adarsh rated it ★★★★☆

August 11, 2017

Detailed review to come soon. But this is an enlightening read on Dalit oppression in India, featuring the life story of K G Satyamurthy (SM), the founder of People's War Group, and his family. The author, Sujatha Gidla, is the niece of SM and currently lives in New York. Purely as a tale of peop...

Doris rated it ★★★☆☆

August 05, 2017

I knew nothing about communism in India, and very little about the untouchable caste and the caste system generally (other than what the terms meant), and I feel I learned a great deal. The book was very troubling, yet informative, mostly through the experience of one family. Likely there is a lo...

gnarlyhiker rated it ★★★★☆

July 27, 2017

Regardless of education or job success in India, the lower caste is referred to as untouchables. And surprisingly there is a hierarchy within the caste of untouchables. A real eyeopener. good luck **ARC/publisher/NetGalley

Oeendrila rated it ★★★★★

August 16, 2017

Proof that you can tell a story honestly and forcefully by writing it in simple language sans artifice. And it is no surprise that she could tell it so powerfully for it is her lived reality and the truth of the subcontinent.

N rated it ★★★☆☆

August 07, 2017

Usentimentalt innblikk i livet til en fattig, kasteløs kristen familie, med hovedfokus på forfatterens revolusjonære onkel.

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