The Hindus

The Hindus

An Alternative History

Book - 2009
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An insightful and inspirational biography of the heroic and spiritual poet .

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844?1889) may well have been the most original and innovative poet writing in the English language during the nineteenth century. Yet his story of personal struggle, doubt, intense introspection, and inward heroism has never been told fully. As a Jesuit priest, Hopkins's descent into loneliness and despair and his subsequent recovery are a remarkable and inspiring spiritual journey that will speak to many readers, regardless of their faith or philosophies.

Paul Mariani, an award-winning poet himself and author of a number of biographies of literary figures, brilliantly integrates Hopkins's spiritual life and his literary life to create a rich and compelling portrait of a man whose work and life continue to speak to readers a century after his death.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2009
ISBN: 9780670020317
Characteristics: 779 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm


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kagat Jun 20, 2014

I am a Hindu born in India and this is the best book I have read on Hinduism and one of best books ever on any subject. The author shows her love of India and respect for Hinduism.Well researched, excellently written and historically accurate. I am surprised to learn that Ramayana and Mahabharata were written around the same time though non historians think that Ram was much before Mahabharata.The child Krishna was added centuries later to fill out details of the original Krishna the Charioteer Avatar. Highly recommend.

May 16, 2014

(1) Christianity is mainly about the great teachings of Jesus Christ. (2) Christianity is mainly about the inquisition within the Roman Catholic Church. The first statement is a historical fact while second statement is distorted “alternative history”. This simple example illustrates what Wendy Doniger has done to Hinduism in her book. If one wants to know about Hindus and their ancient philosophy from a western perspective, Heinrich Zimmer, Joseph Campbell, Alain Danielou and R.C. Zaehner are the gold standard. Ms. Doniger describes her book as an “alternative to the narrative of Hindu history that they tell”. However, her book provides no substantive reasoning of why “what she tells” is more accurate than “what they tell”. The attitude that comes through is one of hostility and contempt for Hindus throughout the book. This does not mean that I do not recommend that you read this book. Of course, you should. However, you will get a more balanced perspective on Hinduism by also reading the works of some highly respected scholars on Hinduism and then making up your own mind on what Hinduism means to you. Anyone is free to express his views on anything however cherry-picking to show something in a bad light and presenting heavily distorted views is more like feeling free to express yourself in bad faith. I am not an ‘ill-informed fundamentalist' and have seriously studied many religions in depth. Unfortunately, this is not the only book that deliberately seeks to undermine this ancient religion as I see from:

May 16, 2014

The odd thing about people claiming this book shows Hinduism "in a bad light" is that she sees herself as praising India's very long tradition of diversity and tolerance, as witnessed by its openness to different practices and interpretation within the one religion.

Doniger is bound to offend people who've never seriously studied the history of religions. The recent, politically-inspired controversy in India's far right can be ignored here -- the book even opens with an earlier event when some fanatic threw an egg at her. And she's hardly the first scholar to be attack by ill-informed fundamentalists who have not even read what they attack: The real problem is, while Doniger is a colorful writer and can be at times quite witty, all the asides make for a very long book. Doniger really needed a better editor on this book. Some of her arguments are more rhetoric than logic (for example, by her own reasoning, it would be racist for historians a thousand years from now to theorize that Spaniards must have colonized Latin America at some point). Worth reading, but Doniger herself makes it clear this book is not to be read without already having read on the history of the evolution of Hinduism.

Apr 04, 2014

This author is known to be a Hindu hater. She writes on Hinduism in a very biased and lopsided way presenting Hinduism in a perspective no Hindu ever looks at. Skip this book and author if you have any real interest in learning about Hinduism.


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