[full of] raconteurial energy ... Sen writes with an elegance and wit ... His accounts of his own work are characteristically succinct and fluent ... His evocation of post-war Cambridge and the towering figures of 20th-century economics are affectionate but just. Even more vivid is the picture of his undergraduate days in Calcutta, with its student revolutionaries and generous booksellers. ... It is striking just how much of Sen's own large-hearted liberalism turn out to have been prefigured in the freedoms of his unusual childhood.Home in the World is the chronicle of an early life well lived and well considered.Amartya Sen's memoir Home in the World beautifully conveys the immense, curious charm of his unapologetic high intelligence.graceful and hopeful ... Home in the World focuses on Sen's formative years, revealing the roots of his academic interests in his early experiences ... Sen is such a charming and engaging narratorA charming, lively account of Sen's remarkable adolescenceSen's gentle memoir shed[s] light on the distant nooks of a long life of distinction. ... There is something of Tagore in the judicious Mr. Sen. He is an un?inching man of science but also insistently humane.warmhearted, clear-eyed account of the formative years of his life, a book that reaches from Myanmar to Berkeley ... a testament to just how far, in one life, one man might go into that vast world ... Sen's writing style is even-keeled and gently humorous.
PRAISE FOR AMARTYA SENWith his masterly prose, ease of erudition and ironic humour, Sen is one of the few great world intellectuals on whom we may rely to make sense out of our existential confusionAmartya Sen is one of the most distinguished minds of our time [who] enjoyably mixes moments of profundity with flashes of mischievous provocationThe world's poor and dispossessed could have no more articulate or insightful a championAn accessible and exceptional humanitarianSen is one of the great minds of both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We owe him a huge debtA distinguished inheritor of the tradition of public philosophy and reasoning - Roy, Tagore, Gandhi, Nehru ... if ever there was a global intellectual, it is Sen
The extraordinary early life in India and England of one of the world's leading public intellectuals
Where is 'home'? For Amartya Sen, home has been many places - Dhaka in modern Bangladesh, the little university town of Santiniketan, where he was raised as much by his grandparents as by his parents, Calcutta where he first studied economics and was active in student movements, and Trinity College, Cambridge, to which he came aged 19.
Sen brilliantly recreates the atmosphere in each of these. He remembers his river journeys between Dhaka and his parents' ancestral homes and wonderfully explores the rich history and culture of Bengal. In 1943 he witnessed the disastrous unfolding of the Bengal Famine, and the following year the inflaming of tensions between Hindus and Muslims. In the years before Independence, some of his family were imprisoned for their opposition to British rule.
Central to Sen's formation was the intellectually liberating school in Santiniketan founded by Rabindranath Tagore (who gave him his name Amartya) and exciting conversations in the Coffee House on College Street in Calcutta. In Cambridge, he engaged with many of the leading economists and philosophers of the day, especially with the great Marxist thinker Piero Sraffa, who provided a direct connection not only to Wittgenstein, but to Antonio Gramsci and the anti-fascist battles in Italy in the 1920s. After years in Europe and America, the book ends when he returns to Delhi in 1963.
Home in the World shows how Sen's experience shaped his ideas - about economics, philosophy, identity, community, famines, gender inequality, social choice and the power of discussion in public life. The joys of learning and the importance of friendship are powerfully conveyed. He invokes some of the great thinkers of the past and his own time - from Ashoka in the third century BC and Akbar in the sixteenth, to David Hume, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Maurice Dobb, Kenneth Arrow and Eric Hobsbawm. Above all, Sen emphasises the importance of enlarging our views as much as we can, of human sympathy and understanding across time and distance, and of being at home in the world.
|Home in the World