Book Review Thread

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by maomao, Dec 16, 2011.

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Are you a fan of Dawood Ibrahim ?

  1. Yes , I am

    6.7%
  2. No , I am not

    93.3%
  1. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    Dubey can’t explain why Mao Tse-tung dealt a severe blow to Nehru’s ‘Hindi-Chini, bhai-bhai’ sort of mumbo-jumbo, and why the latter had to seek military help from US President JF Kennedy to ward off further drubbing from China.

    Jagmohan writes positively about Nehru’s concern vis-à-vis urban planning, but does some plain-speaking about his handling of Jammu & Kashmir. Sheikh Abdullah is rightly described as one “with streaks of megalomania and duplicity embedded deep in his mind”, and how he was “nursing secret ambitions to carve out a virtual Sheikhdom for himself and his coterie”. Jagmohan also talks about the “first mistake” made by Maharaja Hari Singh who “flirted with the idea of independence”.

    Constitutional expert Subhas Kashyap, who had known Nehru since his student days in Allahabad, provides interesting details regarding his interactions with him, long before he became the Prime Minister. He also lists the critique of Nehru, even though very briefly: For accepting Partition; for “decimating by design the ideologically-based healthy Opposition and alternative to the Congress — the Praja Socialist Party”; for ditching Subhas Chandra Bose; for weakening within the Congress the liberal Left by ousting the socialists; and, for his faulty approaches towards Kashmir and China. Nehru’s disastrous politics of making Indian state anti-Hindu, and his refusal to carry out an exchange of population between India and Pakistan (as demanded by many Muslim leaders) are, however, missed out.

    MV Kamath, despite his fascination for Nehru, offers fulsome praise to Netaji Bose, and how his disappearance “took away the only competitor to Nehru”. Kamath is bothered by Nehru’s “disdain for Hinduism”, and offended by his refusal to associate himself with the rebuilding of the Somnath temple. He also criticises Nehru for refusing the permanent membership of the UN Security Council, besides his mistakes on Tibet, Kashmir, Krishna Menon, among others.

    K Natwar Singh, surprisingly, notes how Nehru was “shackled by his own version of history”, and how the “ambiguities of history bypassed him”. He admits: “Nehru had grievously faulted on Kashmir and China”. It would, however, surprise many to know that Nehru was “sympathetic to the demand of Jews for a homeland”. On the Kashmir issue, Singh says, “The melancholy fact is that Nehru converted an entirely domestic matter into an international one. This was no ordinary blunder.” He is honest enough to say that even after 63 years, it is a “strain to condone Nehru for accepting Mountbatten’s advice to take the Kashmir issue to the United Nations”. He also talks about how Sheikh Abdullah, a member of the Indian delegation to the UN in 1948, actually “undercut” India’s position by calling for Kashmir’s independence in a private conversation with Warren R Austin, the American delegate to the UN.

    Karan Singh, predictably, avoids being critical of Nehru’s handling of Kashmir. Far from providing any insight, which he was perhaps best equipped to do, he has not a word to say on either the Abdullahs or the jihadi strand in the Valley. He errs in saying that our Constitution-makers created a secular state — the fact remains that it was the Hindu-Buddhist ethos that made India secular. It’s a different matter that our ‘secular’ politicians have turned it into an anti-Hindu, pseudo-secular state.

    Inder Malhotra’s piece justifies every fault of Nehru, and calls him the “moderniser” of India. The reality is that the process of modernisation was initiated long before Nehru was born, by people like Raja Rammohun Roy, Dayananda Saraswati, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in the social realm and Dadabhai Naoroji, Surendranath Banerjee, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Babasaheb Ambedkar in the political domain.

    No twist in Nehru tale

    (Truly a blunder for India and we are still paying the price. I personally believe that Nehru was imposed by the likes of Brits and Gandhi - who overruled internal elections of congress and forced traitor self-hating anti-Hindu Nehru as PM over Patel)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Book Review: The Tragedy of Great Power Politics

    In International Relations theory, the two main ideas or frameworks people use to understand and decide policies are based on (1)Realism and (2) Liberalism

    This book by Mearsheimer is considered the oneo f the foundational books in International Relations Theory. Here is a quick book reivew on this.
    Political Science Article and Book Reviews: Mearsheimer: Tragedy of Great Power Politics"

    Part I: Summary

    In Chapter 3, Mearsheimer says that power is of two types: latent and effective (or military) power (p.55). Latent power is composed of the resources a state has available to build military power (p. 60). These resources include, but at not limited to, wealth and population (p. 61). Population is important because without people, you cannot build armies (p.61). There must actually be soldiers to fight in the army. Wealth is important because unless a state has wealth, there is no way to equip, train, pay and provide for the military forces of a country (p. 61). However, great wealth does not mean great military power, although great military power means great wealth because it takes a lot of wealth to support an army (p.75). Effective power – military power – is based on the size of a state’s army (p. 56). The indicator is the army because occupation and takeover require actual boots on the ground – which is the function of an army, not a navy or air force (p.56).

    Mearsheimer says that his definition of power – that of a measurement of material resources – is the best one to use because power has to be the ability of state A to force state B to do something that state B doesn’t want to do (p. 57). Power must exist before it is exercised, and so the only way to measure that is to measure the resources that a state can use to force their will on another state (p. 60). If the measurement of power was based on the outcomes of conflicts, there would be no way to measure which state was the more powerful state until the outcome is complete (p. 60). Additionally, if power was to be based on outcomes, then there would be no way to account for resources that don’t have to do with capabilities in a calculation of power, such as: strategy, intelligence, morale, health of population, and weather (p. 60). Therefore, the definition of power must be based in resources because they can account for material and non-material sources of power (p. 60).

    However, this does not mean that a state with a lot of latent power will be a powerful state and be able to turn that into effective power (p.75). States have different levels of ability to turn latent power into military power (p.79). So a state that can turn latent power into military power more effectively, even if that state might have less latent power, will be more powerful (p. 79). An organized economy can play a great role in the effective transformation of latent power to effective power (p. 81). Additionally, states buy different kinds of military forces. One state will buy more in the navy, while the other will spend more on its army. The states that spend more on its army will have more power, even if the other state has a larger overall military, because boots on the ground equals power (p.81).

    The important difference to understand is how wealth and power are distributed among the great powers (p. 82).

    In Chapter 10, Mearsheimer states that claiming that security competition and war among great powers is over –to be replaced with cooperation – because the Cold War is over, is wrong (p.361). Cooperation will not replace security competition because all great powers still care about gaining power because states still fear each other and anarchy reigns (p.361). Therefore, because there has been no structural change, there will be no behavioral change (p. 361). Mearsheimer also argues that there will be no structural change because no one wants to give up “being a state” and nationalism is one of the most powerful political forces in the world (p.366).

    Part II: Analysis

    Mearsheimer says that the balance of power among great powers is equal to the balance of military power (p. 56). However, he then says that the balance of power isn’t a good predictor of military success because there are other factors that can supply one side with an advantage: strategy, intelligence, morale, weather and disease (p. 58). These two ideas seem to be at conflict with each other. If the balance of power is military power, but the balance of power isn’t a good predictor of military success, then how can you know when a hegemon emerges? A hegemon has to have enough military power to rule their part of the world and prevent other states from coming in and interfering. This concept seems to indicate that at some point the balance of power does equal, and must be a good predictor of, military power. Otherwise, a system that is based on military capabilities would have no way of knowing what type of world it was in. Those two statements seem to be inconsistent with each other.

    According to Mearsheimer, the world didn’t change after the end of the Cold War (p. 361), and then goes about showing how other theories are wrong. International economic interdependence will not make a structural change because the world is probably not more interdependent than it was in the early 20th century (p. 365). No where does Mearsheimer validate his assumption that there is as much interdependence today as there was then. It is simply a bold statement without any facts to back it up. He also discredits the democratic peace theory on the basis of near misses (p.368). However, near misses indicate that there was no war. The causes behind the near misses are never explained by Mearsheimer, he simply states that they had nothing to do with democracy (p.368). I would be more convinced if he had facts to prove that, instead of assumptive statements. Democracy affects everything in it to some extent, so I have a hard time believing his statement that near misses have nothing to do with democracy. Mearsheimer’s only basis for discrediting other theories is his emphasis on anarchy.
    ------------------------------

    Its availble for purchase for those interested on itunes here
    iTunes - Books - The Tragedy of Great Power Politics by John J. Mearsheimer
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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  5. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Koovie likes this.
  6. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Book Review: Breakout Nations by Ruchir Sharma

    The North Face | Ruchir Sharma

    Snake oil,Snake oil,Snake Oil.A 25 Km Noida expressway doesn't show as UP shining.Rural and Urban Connectivity is pathetic in UP and development in the Delhi borough (mildly livable place in North India) doesn't mean there is great development in whole of UP.Nor development in Delhi,Noida and gurgaon is representative of north India
     
  7. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Beyond Vindhya Major | Srivatsa Krishna
     
  8. pankaj nema

    pankaj nema Senior Member Senior Member

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    This guy Ruchir Sharma is an IDIOT

    North has to work hard for 10 years continously to reach where South is today
     
  9. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Not 10 nearly half a century to get the dam population stabilized
     
  10. LurkerBaba

    LurkerBaba Staff Administrator

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    Title changed to a more neutral one :p
     
  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Thanks LB. Let sanity prevail. :)
     
  12. KS

    KS Bye bye DFI Veteran Member

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    Wow so much obsession about south and word for word -- "In north......but in south.....".There is no need for North to grow just because South grew or there was ever a competition between the two. North (and East) needs to grow, NOT to prove a point to anyone, but for its own sake and for India's sake.

    Anyway I am happy for the growth in Northern states and hope they too have their boom.


    No offence but I just :rotflmao:
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  13. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Too many generalizations and too simplistic analysis. This book and author are better ignored.
     
  14. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Two fantastic ways to make money:
    • Write a book bashing x or y.
    • Write a book titled, "How to become rich!"
     
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  15. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    This.

    We all need to pull in the forward direction for us, for our country- India, to grow. These dick measuring contests get us nowhere.
     
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  16. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    This was on telly yesterday, Can't believe Sunil Mittal & Montek Ahuwalia wasted their 30 minutes watching this Ruchir Shamra talk like a monkey while Pranay Roy reviews the book.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  17. Adux

    Adux Senior Member Senior Member

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    I felt exactly the same, Montek was more than disgusted with that idiot and rightfully so. heck, I am more intelligent than him and i dont even have a book published.

    He has absolutely no idea of what he is talking about, especially about Resource Depth. RBI Governor retired wasnt impressed nor was Mittal.

    He became extremely defensive when Sunil took some educated and strong positions, and personally attacked him " you would say that since you are business with large import orders" etc etc. with regards to devaluing of the ruppee.

    What a pompous asshole.
     
  18. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Pranoy Roy was publicizing the book like crazy. I remember him telling this is the book that is being sought after all over the world.
    May be the publishers paid NDTV.

    If we went by him, he'd let the rupee slide to 100 a dollar.
     
  19. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    last 50 years it was Aryan versus Dravidian issue which was used to foment strife but didn't succeed, now its north versus south divide which is creating headlines and books :lol:


    CFR member and commie Pranoy Roy pimping this book makes me suspicious, these commie history book writers were the ones who were into perpetuating the aryan invasion theory for long even after evidence which proved it false. looks like they changed plate, now they are going to brainwash kids with northie versus southie lectures.
     
  20. ashdoc

    ashdoc Senior Member Senior Member

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    Dawood---Doyen of the dons

    Copy/pasted book review---From Dongri to Dubai

    Dawood Ibrahim sells. India's most wanted criminal is a sure-shot subject to grab eyeballs.

    With the Big D as its main protagonist, it hardly comes as a surprise that S. Hussain Zaidi's Dongri to Dubai flew off the shelves by the dozen and the first print run of the book has already been sold out.

    Courtesy crime folklore in Mumbai/Bombay, the media and of course Bollywood, our desi Godfathers such as Haji Mastan, Vardarajan Mudaliar, Karim Lala, Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan have become larger than life figures. But given the relative paucity of literature on the underworld, the hunger for books on the topic is immense and a work like Dongri to Dubai was long overdue. And there was nobody as well-placed to accomplish this as Zaidi - a crime journalist with nearly two decades of experience behind him and the author of the incredibly insightful and addictively engaging narrative on the 1993 blasts, Black Friday.

    Judging by the fact that it took four to five sittings to finish reading the 363-page book, Dongri to Dubai is extremely fast-paced and readable. This is no small achievement as the book traverses the long journey of the Mumbai Mafia - from petty stabbing incidents in the 1950s to its inextricable linkages with global terrorism six decades later. What could however have been a seminal work on organised crime in the Maximum City ends up as a rather filmy-style narrative of Dawood's journey from a tough guy in Dongri to the Don of Dubai, and finally a global terrorist. The Bollywood touches begin with the cover and back page itself, which contain accolades by Anil Kapoor, John Abraham and Sanjay Gupta.

    The book is replete with unnecessary dialogue-baazi and drama such as Dawood's 1974 soda-bottle attack on the burly Pathan Bashu Dada, the then Don of Dongri, to avenge the humiliation of his father and elder brother, or his Bollywoodstyle speech at a meeting organised by Haji Mastan to make peace between him and the Pathans. If the depiction of the latter incident is accurate, Dawood could have given the Big B and Salim-Javed a run for their money. The Don is supposed to have snatched the cigarette Mastan was smoking and crushed it in his palm and said, 'We know how to handle the fire and when to crush it with bare fingers.'

    These flourishes are at the expense of contextualisation. Zaidi does not answer certain key questions he himself raises at the beginning: Why did Dongri emerge as the epicentre of crime in Mumbai? Why did the Muslim youth of Bombay take to crime? He has also brushed through certain extremely crucial events in Mumbai's history such as the 1982 mill strike, which changed the nature of the city and the mafia.

    It is unfair to expect a book to be encyclopaedic in the ground it covers. But surely the amount of space wasted on details of the mannerisms of the various dons and a rather superfluous chapter on Osama Bin Laden's killing could have been utilised in bringing some analytical depth.

    Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra (who incidentally has written the foreword for Dongri to Dubai) had a much better depiction of the wheels-within-wheels nature of crime, politics and espionage in Mumbai. This is despite it being a work of fiction, or perhaps because of it. But the book's shortcomings become obvious only because the expectations are very high, and in the final analysis, they are outweighed by its many positives.

    Most importantly, Zaidi doesn't view Dawood through the lenses of hindsight, which is not an easy task given the iconic status that man has come to assume. His narrative remains true to how Dawood was viewed at the various phases of his life. For instance in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dawood, being a policeman's son as well as a Maharashtrian, was seen at least by the Mumbai Police as a rather desirable counterweight to the Pathan gangsters. Zaidi brilliantly narrates how Dawood, which is Arabic for David, took on and defeated Mumbai's Goliaths - sadistic dons such as Alamzeb and Amirzada Pathan as well as Samad Khan, whose brutality compelled Pathan patriarch Karim Lala to throw kinship ties out of the window.

    The depiction of Dawood's stint in Pakistan is also insightful, especially the fact that he has no attachment to abstract ideas such as jihad and religion. Forging links with Islamic terrorists is a pragmatic decision aimed at making himself indispensible to the Pakistanis (see extract).

    Though he doesn't explicitly say so, Zaidi also pays tribute to a long list of crime journalists in the city, whom he mentions in different parts of the book - Alfred W. Davis, who reported on crime for Blitz, and his protégé, Usman Gani Muqaddam; Iqbal Natiq, the Urdu journalist who was killed by the Pathans, had struck a deal between Dawood and the Mumbai Police; and the two journalists who paid the ultimate price for writing about the underworld - M.P. Iyer, who was 'silenced' by the mafia in 1970, and Jyotirmoy Dey, who was killed over four decades later.

    Book extract: The terror tag

    When you are declared a global terrorist, survival is difficult. Seven years ago, Pakistan used the opportunity to tighten the screws on him after the global terrorist tag by America. Dawood knew that was his death knell and soon he would become expendable. But this is where his astuteness came into play. He knew before anyone else that Pakistan was going to be outrun by fundamentalists.

    Dawood thus began offering huge donations to these rogue outfits, fuelling their gargantuan growth. The money emboldened their jihadi activities and changed the dynamics of Pakistan's politics, and power equations between the ISI and jihadi organisations.

    The Markaz-ud Dawa (front organisation of Lashkar-e-Tayyeba) began using Dawood's services for international money laundering. For Dawood, cleansing the Markaz funds from his bases in Europe and Southeast Asia was a cakewalk.

    - Extracted from Mumbai ATS chief Rakesh Maria's interview to S. Hussain Zaidi in Dongri to Dubai

    Book review: From Dongri to Dubai
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012
  21. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Re: Dawood---Doyen of the dons

    How can be and why should there be a poll on the subject? Do you want him to contest election in Mumbai ??
     
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