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The Big Picture


K.P. Fabian


By William H. Avery
Amaryllis, New Delhi, 2012, pp.244, Rs.595.00

VOLUME XXXVI NUMBER 9 SEPTEMBER 2012

The author is a strategic consultant to companies doing international business. He was in the US Foreign Service for some years and has worked in US missions in India and Sri Lanka. When India carried out nuclear tests in 1998, Avery was in the US Consulate General in Chennai. The most striking quality of the book is that it looks at the big picture. The basic thesis of the book can be easily summed up: US and India should become close allies to address the challenges of the 21st century. US-UK alliance shaped the 20th century. UK is losing steam; in any case, the geopolitics now is such that a country with a small population can no longer play an important global role. The US is in need of an ally as it confronts China, the rising power. The US needs India to take on China and is keen to have such an alliance with India; but India has yet to see clearly its role in geopolitics. India has to have the confidence in itself to respond to America’s invitation. The book is an attempt to persuade and provoke India to recognize its potential greatness and glory and to work hard to actualize that potential. There is a Prologue followed by nine chapters. The Prologue narrates a story about two kingdoms, one in the East and the other in the West. The kingdom in the East was ancient and proud, thousands of years old. It was once powerful and rich. Far away, big changes were taking place and other kingdoms were acquiring huge wealth. The kingdom in the East was unaware of the changes and it soon became poor and weak compared to the kingdoms that embraced change. It lost its freedom. The kingdom in the West had the best of scientists and innovators. It emerged as the mightiest when its counterpart in the East regained its independence. The two kingdoms were not enemies, but neither were they friends. The kingdom of the West had initially the monopoly of a powerful new weapon. But soon others too discovered the secret and started making the same weapons. One day the kingdoms that had the secret of the powerful weapon decided that they would deny that to others. The kingdom in the East thought that it was an unfair decision. Years later, the kingdom of the East was preparing to test its ...


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