Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect. She is the author of the novel The God of Small Things, which won the Booker Prize. For the past several years, this New Delhi-based author has been on a crusade against the globalization of the world's economy in which poor people become pawns sacrificed in the economic chess game of the free market. In this small paperback, Roy rages with righteous indignation against the new Empire being promoted in the United States and around the world by the Bush Administration. With her usual precision, she traces this arrogance back to the past:

"Way back in 1988, on July 3, the U.S.S Vincennes, a missile cruiser stationed in the Persian Gulf, accidentally shot down an Iranian airliner and killed two hundred and ninety civilian passengers. George Bush the First, who was at the time on his presidential campaign, was asked to comment on the incident. He said quite subtly, 'I will never apologize for the United States. I don't care what the facts are.'

"I don't care what the facts are. What a perfect maxim for the New American Empire. Perhaps a slight variation on the theme would be more apposite: The facts can be whatever we want them to be."

Much has already been written about the Bush Administration's deceptions regarding the reasons for invading Iraq. What interests Roy is that thousands of Americans have marched against the war. This is the kind of nonviolent grassroots response that is the only viable way of protesting the new Imperialism of the United States, which has America going its own way and scorning cooperation with other countries. Roy is grateful that the blueprint for the American Empire has been put into mass circulation. Now everyone knows what it means and can take appropriate action.

In another essay, Roy laments the status of democracy in the United States, India, and South Africa. In each instance, corporate powers seem to be in control, making deals, getting things to go their way, and controlling the media. She examines the role of resistance movements that can make a difference and return dignity to the term democracy. Whether writing about the so-called war on terrorism, the media, AIDS in South Africa, the war in Iraq, or caste politics in India; this passionate author puts before our eyes the cause of justice for the poor, the oppressed, and the overlooked in countries around the world.