Book review: Oreskes, Naomi, & Conway, Eric M. Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Date01 June 2021
AuthorSamar Nanda
Published date01 June 2021
Subject MatterBook Reviews
270 Book Reviews
equality still remains an unfinished agenda of our nation. The answers to these
questions require a critical examination of India’s development models over
the past seven decades in order to identify the causes for shattering the people’s
dreams, including those of Raju. There is a dire need for the social scientists to
probe the conditions in the rural areas further from the period where Dr Naveen
left in the novel (1975–2020).
As a student of social sciences, the novel invokes the following questions. The
Indian Constitution has promised to fulfil the desires of the people—to secure
justice, liberty, equality to all citizens and promote fraternity to maintain unity
and integrity of the nation. But how do we fix the responsibility for the failure
in realizing this aspiration? Is it the failure of the Constitution or the legisla-
ture, executive and judiciary, or the unequal socio-economic structure, models of
development and the insolence of the ruling class in delivering justice to the poor,
or the people in exercising their rights and duties? Raju would have been disap-
pointed had he, perhaps, assessed the rural society, economy, polity and others
from these perspectives.
Professor Indrasena Reddy Kancharla, Department of English, Kakatiya
University, has done commendable work in translating the Telugu novel into
English. He perfectly understood the theme of the novel and author’s style, syntax,
idioms, meaning and other literary characteristics of the novel, as he shares the
similar rural life more or less contemporary to the novelist. It is, however, not an
easy job to ensure complete accuracy in translation due to the native rural idiom
used in the novel.
Professor Reddy’s translation reads well and one feels as though he is reading
the original written in English. The translation elicits the same emotional message
to the reader as the text written by the author in Telugu.
Bala Ramulu Chinnala
Visiting Professor, Centre for Economic and Social Studies,
Former Professor of Public Administration,
Kakatiya University, Telangana, India.
Oreskes, Naomi, & Conway, Eric M. Merchants of Doubt: How a
Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke
to Global Warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2011 (Reprint), 368
pp., `1,526 (Paperback). ISBN 978-16-081-9394-3.
DOI: 10.1177/00195561211016917
‘It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled’.
—Mark Twain
Merchants of Doubt deciphers the ways how truth about the natural world is
deliberately misrepresented by a handful of credible scientists to create perceptible

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