“This book provides a thoughtful and fearless approach to some important and highly topical questions. What constitutes Australia’s nationhood? What is her role in Asia and in the world? How can, and should, the burgeoning economies of Asia contribute to the development of Australia, not just as foreign investors and trading partners, but in terms of cultural and spiritual values? What is the nature of democracy, and how can democratic ideals be realized in Australia and in its Asian neighbours? What is the meaning of multiculturalism in the Australian context? These questions are raised in an intelligent and thought-provoking way.”
“You give us valuable insights into your own experiences as an ‘outsider’ in a predominantly white ‘Western’ environment, who has been able to become part of that environment without losing your deepest links with your own culture. And you demonstrate that the influence of Eastern philosophers – to which Australia is uniquely exposed among Western countries – has the potential to counteract the West’s slide into materialism and the spiritual impoverishment that provides fertile soil for cultism and fundamentalism in all their forms.”
“This is a hard-hitting, insightful book that will appeal to academics, public servants, students, and many members of the general public………….” .
• Writing from the perspective of an Asian Australian, Arasa addresses some of the fundamental questions confronting human kind at the present time. The clash of collectivism and individualism is seen as an East/West issue. Here is available, perhaps for the first time, an insightful ‘take’ on Australian society written by an ‘insider’ who, paradoxically, is an ‘outsider’ as well. … enormously interesting and not uncontroversial …”.
– John Western, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Queensland, Qld.
• “Ratnam’s book is a wake-up call for a more independent national policy on immigration and multicultural policy. Coming from a well-informed former migrant, who has embraced this country as his own, his message has particular value. … Impressed with the depth of (his) analysis”.
– Professor Bob Birrell, Director, Centre for Population & Urban Research, Monash University, Vic.
• “This is a book that every Australian should read. It provides a unique insight into the society and culture of contemporary Australia from someone who has been both an insider and an outsider in Australia. It has a refreshing honesty in an age in which ‘spin’ and euphemism too often combine to hide the true nature of things. You may not always agree with what the book says but you will be compelled to sit up and think more deeply about our contemporary world.
I think that the book has that element of honesty and insight that much of what is currently published does not. I hope that it will be read widely.”
– Associate Professor Greg Melleuish, Head, School of History and Politics, Wollongong University, NSW.
(The above support, from published experts, was both unexpected and unbelievable. The book was subsequently recommended by the US Review of Books, after publication in Canada.
A book written by a spiritual and communitarian Asian who has adapted successfully to the materialistic individualistic ethos of the West, which juxtaposes what lies in one’s head with what one does with one’s feet, while examining the impacts of culture on an immigrant’s adjustment to his adopted home, will challenge many a traditional view.
Readers interested in the human condition will appreciate this book.)