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River of Life, River of Death: The Ganges and India's Future Hardcover – 19 Oct 2017

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product description


Fascinating. (Barney Smith, Asian Affairs Journal)

Mallet's book is well-researched and richly anecdotal. (Uddalak Mukherjee, Telegraph (Kolkata))

The book is well rounded and comprehensive. (Kaveesha Kohli, The Print)

The most impressive sections of the books (sic) are Mallet's sharp accounts on the various players... a valuable reference point to understanding one of the world's most intriguing rivers. (Jacob Koshy, The Hindu)

Mallet's diagnoses of how the Ganges grew so diseased, and why governments have been unalbe to revive it, are astute and comprehensive. (Samanth Subramanian, Literary Review)

Books of the year: "a wonderful achievement". (William Dalrymple, New Statesman and Spectator)

Much to read and ponder. (Greenbarrel.com)

In prose that is as sanguine and fluid as his subject, Victor Mallet's River of Life, River of Death charts the course of the Ganges, the spiritual and material lifeline of northern India, through the vicissitudes of time, space, and the hubris of men. Rich in detail and sparkling with the insight of a trained observer, Mallet's chronicle is an engaging and enlightening read. (Shashi Tharoor, Indian MP and author of Inglorious Empire)

Masterfully combining fascinating history with acute observation of India today, River of Life, River of Death is brilliantly effective in its central argument - that the threats facing the Ganges - from pollution, overpopulation, climate change, and often bad policies - are also the severest problems threatening India's progress. Mallet is at times brutally realistic about the prospects for rapid improvement, but passionately concerned that success must eventually be achieved. The result is a splendid and important book. (Adair Turner, Economist and Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission)

Victor Mallet demonstrates vividly why India needs to get to grips with the huge challenge of antibiotic resistance... I hope Mr Modi's policy advisers read his powerful narrative. (Jim O'Neill, economist, inventor of the BRICS acronym and chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance)

About the Author

Victor Mallet is a journalist and author who has reported for three decades from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, first for Reuters and then for the Financial Times. From 2012 to 2016 he was based in New Delhi as the FT South Asia Bureau Chief, and is currently in Hong Kong as Asia News Editor. His highly praised book on the south-east Asian industrial revolution and the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, The Trouble with Tigers (HarperCollins), was first published in 1999. He twice won the Society of Publishers in Asia award for opinion writing. In India, he was twice awarded the Ramnath Goenka correspondent's award for excellence in journalism in 2012 for a feature about the rise of Narendra Modi, and in 2015 for a magazine cover story on the Ganges.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (19 October 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198786174
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198786177
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 3.3 x 14.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #58,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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28 January 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
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25 September 2018
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16 February 2018
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