Amid the escalating hostilities of today's world, F.G. Bailey
returns to the state of Orissa in the eastern India of the 1950s to
consider what held a diverse collection of people together and what
drove them apart. The last of Bailey's books about Orissa, The Need
for Enemies, offers a ground-level view of regional politics in
South Asia in the years following independence. In doing so, the
book analyzes political problems that are of universal concern:
incivility in public life, the inescapable dilemma of duty always
in tension with interests, public consensus on what is right and
good giving way to a babel of inconsistent moralities, and, not
least, true believers contesting realists who see virtue in
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