New Delhi: Senior journalist Seema Sirohi’s latest book takes readers on a journey across decades, examining the dramatic transformation in the strategic relationship between India and the United States, from foes to ‘friends with benefits.’
Published by HarperCollins, ‘Friends with Benefits: The India-US Story‘ by Seema Sirohi will be released on 9 February on Softcover, ThePrint’s online venue to launch non-fiction books.
Through her book, Seema Sirohi takes readers back to the twilight years of the Cold War and charts the diplomatic journey between India and the United States as they build a defining geopolitical relationship.
With her first-hand reportage and conversations with key players, policymakers, and former intelligence officials, she answers numerous questions surrounding the dynamic between the two democracies, from foreign intervention and China’s looming presence to the influence of the Indian diaspora in the United States.
Currently based in Washington, the author, with over three decades of experience covering India-US relations, writes a column on foreign policy and India’s place in the world for The Economic Times. She has also reported from countries such as Italy, Pakistan, Austria,and Israel, among others, and has appeared on NDTV, BBC, and CNN to comment on international events. She published her first book, ‘Sita’s Curse: Stories of Dowry Victims,’ in 2003.
“With this book, my aim is to fill the gaps in a narrative that is often set in the West and is often one-sided. I tell the India-US story by showing the drama of diplomacy and recounting how officials really felt about the problems and prospects of the relationship,” Sirohi said, while discussing the relevance of the book in today’s world order.
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‘Rich in detail, analysis, and anecdote’
In roughly 500 pages, Sirohi explores the dramatic shift in the diplomatic relationship between India and the US over the past 30 years through her lens as a journalist.
In a thrilling tale of diplomacy and high-voltage politics, Friends with Benefits travels from the 1980s and 1990s, when the US saw India as a major hindrance while being friendly with Pakistan and China, to the contemporary strategic relationship between the two countries, wherein India has become an indispensable US ally.
Associate publisher, Swati Chopra, says, “Rich in detail, analysis, and anecdote, this book must be read as the grand geopolitical saga that it is, with a cast of characters that range from prime ministers and presidents to government officials, analysts, politicians, intelligence operatives, journalists and everybody in between.”
Frank G. Wisner, former US ambassador to India, Egypt, Zambia, and the Philippines, called the book a “must-read for anyone wishing to understand the road our two previously estranged countries have followed in the past three decades.”
Shivshankar Menon, former national security adviser and former foreign secretary, Government of India said, “Seema Sirohi has used her 30-year experience in Washington, and deep knowledge of India and the US to write an accurate, accessible and timely account of the relationship. Mindful of pitfalls, past and future, this is not purely an optimistic tone, though it does show the good that diplomacy and political will can achieve.”
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