Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Akash Kapur grew up between India and America. Returning to India decades later as an adult, he discovers a country with a bright future as a player in the world economy.

At the time of Kapur’s 2003 visit, India was in the process of reinventing itself with a vibrant energy of the new generation. People were replacing their outmoded ways of life with new tools (carts replaced with tractors), and improving things from deep within the country. People in the lower classes were able to take advantage of a new proprietary situation and were becoming entrepreneurs or newly minted business owners. They learned how to make money and generate passive income by developing family-based businesses for themselves. However, this newly acquired wealth sometimes came at a price for India. Opportunities for prosperity also created vast inequalities among the people of the region and led to violence.

India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India is split up into two sections. One section highlights the advantages of proprietary prospects in the region and the other describes the down side to the economic gains India has enjoyed in the last few decades. I enjoyed Kapur’s comparisons of India of his youth to India of today, and his discussions of new programs, trade, buildings and structures and evolving attitudes of the people.

India Becoming reads much like a travel diary while providing an analysis of socioeconomic change in the country, and will be a great resource for anyone wanting to learn more about this emerging power in the world.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Learn more about Akash Kapur and India Becoming

Video | Facebook | Kapur’s article: India Is Burning

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Riverhead. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.