Where the Wild Frontiers Are (Title contributed by Lapata)
Gentle Readers.

It has come to this. On or about May 31, 2011 you will be able to purchase Where the Wild Frontiers Are: Pakistan and the American Imagination – a curated, edited collection of my posts from CM and elsewhere. Some fine folks have contributed immense amount of their time and talent to make this happen and I am still a bit unsettled about it.

CM was a space invented for an imaginary audience by a frustrated (and easily distracted) graduate student. From its beginning, it was consciously an “academic blog” and I participated in many forums (online and offline) about the meaning, the mode, the future and past of “academic blogging” [curious folks can look up this and this as two early examples]. One part of this engagement was my insistence that “blogs” were a publishing venue which democratized a certain aspect of academic speech. Another part of this engagement was my deep unhappiness in the way it handled archives. They vanished – relying solely on the Search box or the vagaries of Google. Back then, Google was good.

Helena Cobban, at Just World Books, had a brilliant idea in producing curated books from blogs covering timely subject-material. Joshua Foust, of Registan, was the one who introduced me to Cobban and she was enthusiastic about the possibility of CM existing as a published archive. After some massive help – the first foray into the archive jungle was done by Farangi and SalmaanH and, put together by Sabrina S. – I was able to put together a somewhat thematic coherence to the book. Another round (or was it two) of editing happened.

My dearest friend and co-blogger Lapata, then contributed her art for the book (and the cover). Amitava Kumar generously agreed to write the foreword (which is humbling!) and some other people who have way more things to do than time to do it in, agreed to blurb it.

You will, certainly, hear a lot more here about the book and I will certainly beg and plead (not now, though) you to buy a copy. It is launching in the US first, but there will be a e-book version and I am keen on getting it published in Pakistan/India (if you know someone who knows someone etc…)

Love and thanks,


12 thoughts on “Announcement: CM BOOK!

  1. Postcards from the Archive: Goodbye 2011
  2. Mubarakbaad, publish many more.

  3. Desi Italiana

    May 26, 2011 — 7:11 pm

    Great news–congrats!

  4. Many many congrats! Let me share a poem with you on this occasion in the hope that Pakistan will change for good until you write your next book.

    The Kakul Syndrome

    (for the silent revolution in Pakistan)

    By Habib Sulemani

    God Almighty! Generals fake
    They’ve put country at stake
    Generals mean personal gain
    The armed forces’re in pain!

    Generals’re bloody fool
    Take a bath an’ be cool!

    Military men’re public servants
    Not masters from the heavens!
    But they’re arrogant an’ cruel
    Don’t care for common people

    Generals’re bloody fool
    Take a bath an’ be cool!

    You own huge firms an’ agriland
    Turning country into terrorland!
    No-one among you bothers at all
    Where the terrified people stand!

    Suffering from the Kakul Syndrome
    You’re always out—even if at home
    By providing terrorists sanctuary
    You’ve failed to protect country

    Still you behave like intellectuals
    Not men behind petty squabbles!
    You’ve lost every single battle
    Yet foolishly believe: you rattle!

    Generals’re bloody fool
    Take a bath an’ be cool!

    After failure on geographical borders
    You champion ideological frontiers
    It’s easy to fight on ambiguous front
    Cos you like a lavish bedroom stint!

    Using a pawn religious leader
    Or an ISI-paid TV anchor
    You can make storm in teacup
    Change system—down to up!

    The generals’ve taken refuge
    In ideological war an’ abuse!
    Don’t try to fool world anymore!
    Don’t you see outside an uproar?

    Generals’re bloody fool
    Take a bath an’ be cool!

    See the writing on the wall
    Only you’re sick not we all
    The military is vanguard
    Of a scary fanatic world!
    The nation wants to know your aim
    You’ve multiplied the double game!

    You’re soldiers or businessmen?
    Playing tricks on the politician!
    You didn’t defend country borders
    With broken oath, you’re traitors!

    There is no escape from the law
    Dug earth with your filthy paw!
    You can’t deceive the tax payers
    God has heard people’s prayers!

    You’ve lied to the nation
    Not once, again an’ again
    You’ve neither mind nor a soul
    An’ you’re always playing foul!

    Generals’re bloody fool
    Take a bath an’ be cool!

    It’s time to take a dose of wisdom!
    Stop violation of our basic freedom
    Respect democracy at home
    Or face the doom an’ gloom!

  5. Congratulations, Manan – this is wonderful news!

  6. Heartiest congratulations sepoy — can’t wait for this!

  7. vah, vah!

  8. Woo hoo! Best news I’ve heard in days. Many sincere congratulations Manan, and my gratitude to all who helped make this happen.

  9. Wow, this is really great. I’m really happy about this book. I’m really, really looking forward to reading “Where the Wild Frontiers Are”. Good job Manan.

  10. Wonderful – Mabrook. I expect my *autographed* copy (yes, paid for by me) next time you are in town:

  11. Great news. Mubarak. I expect a signed copy (paid for by me :)) en route soon after its birth.

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