Books by Usha Alexander

  • A lone woman travels fearlessly into the jungle to confront the enemy. She holds the fate of an entire world in her hands.

  • When Craig Olsen returns to Idaho to say goodbye to his dying uncle, who raised him, he comes face to face with matters he can no longer evade.

  • "A suspenseful narrative weaves the stories and secrets of two generations into one seamless drama ... a worthy literary journey." —Kirkus Discoveries

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« Early Islam, Part 1: The Rise of Islam | Main | Shilling for Apples »

September 16, 2009


Borlaug was well-known and respected in India. I recall reading about him in the newspapers back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The green revolution made an enormous difference in India. In the mid 1960s, the spectre of the Bengal famine of 1943, which had killed about 3 million or more people, was still very real. A major drought in 1965 forced the Indian government to triple its wheat imports from the US. People such as Paul Ehrlich, in his infamously wrong book, "The Population Bomb", were predicting mass starvation in India. While India's foodgrain production was increasing steadily since 1947, it would not have been sufficient to feed a large and growing population without the green revolution.

The green revolution is a paradigmatic example of good science followed by good public policy resulting in huge benefits for large numbers of people. I don't know the history of the green revolution well enough to judge if all the credit should go to Borlaug. Given the impact of his work however, I think he deserves all the accolades.

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New Book by Namit Arora

  • The Lottery of Birth reveals Namit Arora to be one of our finest critics. In a raucous public sphere marked by blame and recrimination, these essays announce a bracing sensibility, as compassionate as it is curious, intelligent and nuanced.” —Pankaj Mishra

Shunya Website

Namit wins 3QD Arts & Literature Prize 2011

Namit Arora's India Photo Archive