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Robert Arnett’s Discovery Of India

August 2007
Robert Arnett’s Discovery Of India

Georgian Robert Arnett's lavishly illustrated book, India Unveiled, is now a decade old. But his fascination with India, especially in the spiritual realm, actually started in1969, when a chance encounter at an Asian exhibition in Detroit set him off on a lifelong quest. Arnett made his first trip to India in late 1988. "Without itinerary or expectations, I began the first of three solitary journeys, each of which would last six months," he writes. "It was during that short span of time on my second trip that my life was transformed. Not only was the Indian subcontinent unveiled to me, but in the process, I discovered the true essence of my being."

Indeed, even to the casual reader, this handsomely produced tome—a revised, expanded edition was recently released—comes across as a long love letter by an ardent Indophile. There are 69 new photographs, and illustrator Smita Turakhia, who collaborated with Arnett on his award-winning book (Finders Keepers?) for children, redesigned 169 pages. The book has already sold over 30,000 copies, according to the publisher, and is available in more than 3000 libraries. Arnett, whose degrees include an M.A. in history from Indiana University, has lectured widely and taught in the European Division of the University of Maryland.

"The German philosopher Goethe said that to live in another's country and to speak another's language increases one's knowledge tenfold," Arnett states in the epilogue. "I certainly would agree. Our shrinking world makes it easier today than ever before to adopt the best from all civilizations. Certainly no nation or religion has a monopoly on truth. West and East have much to share."

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