The Book Recommendation Thread

OneGrimPilgrim

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Hello all,

got the idea to create this thread some days back. I'd suggest a format of posting a book-recommendation here as:

<TITLE>

<CATEGORY/GENRE>

<GIST/SUMMARY/ANY HIGHLIGHTS>

<LINK TO PURCHASE-SITE OR SOURCE> (could be embedded in the title itself too)

<ANY COMMENT(S)>

will start with my recommendation...




 

OneGrimPilgrim

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DURBAR



Category: Indian Politics/political history

Gist:
Durbar is a first-person account of some of the most impactful incidents that took place at the hands of the Central Government. It begins with an account of the Emergency in 1975, when the author began her career as a junior reporter with The Statesman, and moves on to chronicle the instabilities of the times that followed.

The Emergency was a landmark event that set the course of the spiral of incidents that followed it: Indira Gandhi’s assassination followed by Rajiv Gandhi’s ascent to power, a period fraught with struggles and turbulence in the government. He was accused of following nepotism in the corridors of power, and was associated with many controversies such as the the anti-Sikh riots, the Bhopal Gas tragedy and the Bofors scam, which served to tarnish the impeccable image of the Congress in the days to come.

Durbar provides a vivid detailing of an insider’s account of some of the most troubled times our country has been through and is, in a sense, a compelling history of our past.

It was published in the year 2013 by Hachette India and is available in paperback.

Key Features:

  • The book is an interesting chronicle of some of the most monumental events in India’s past.
  • It is authored by someone who has been closely involved with some of the most authoritative leaders in the corridors of power.

Comments: thanks to @Berkut for recommending this. its a tough-to-put-down book. have gone through only initial 30-40 pages. very interesting read.
 

OneGrimPilgrim

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Desh Ki Hatya (Hindi)



Category: fiction/political novel (from the 60s), based on real Indian political events

Gist:

सम्पादकीय

उपन्यासकार गुरुदत्त का जन्म जिस काल और जिस प्रदेश में हुआ उस काल में भारत के राजनीतिक क्षितिज पर बहुत कुछ विचित्र घटनाएँ घटित होती रही हैं। गुरुदत्त जी इसके प्रत्यक्षदृष्टा ही नहीं रहे अपितु यथासमय वे उसमें लिप्त भी रहे हैं। जिन लोगों ने उनके प्रथम दो उपन्यास ‘स्वाधीनता के पथ पर’ और ‘पथिक’ को पढ़ने के उपरान्त उसी श्रृंखला के उसके बाद के उपन्यासों को पढ़ा है उनमें अधिकांश ने यह मत व्यक्त किया है कि उपन्यासकार आरम्भ में गांधीवादी था, किंतु शनैः-शनैः वह गांधीवादी से निराश होकर हिन्दुत्ववादी हो गया है।

जिस प्रकार लेखक का अपना दृष्टिकोण होता है उसी प्रकार पाठक और समीक्षक का भी अपना दृष्टिकोण होता है। पाठक अथवा समीक्षक अपने दृष्टिकोण से उपन्यासकार की कृतियों की समीक्षा करता है। उनमें कितना यथार्थ होता है, यह विचार करने की बात है। इसमें तो कोई सन्देह नहीं कि व्यक्ति की विचाधारा का क्रमशः विकास होता रहता है। यदि हमारे उपन्यासकार गुरुदत्त के विचारों में विकास हुआ तो वह प्रगतिशीलता का ही लक्षण है। किन्तु हम उन पाठकों और समीक्षकों के इस मत से सहमत नहीं कि आरम्भ का गांधीवादी गुरुदत्त कालान्तर में गांधी-विरोधी रचनाएँ लिखने लगा। इस दृष्टि से गुरुदत्त की विचारधारा में कहीं भी परिवर्तन नहीं दिखाई दिया गांधी के विषय में जो धारणा उपन्यास ने अपने प्रारम्भिक उपन्यासों में व्यक्त की है, क्रमशः उसकी पुष्टि ही वह अपने अवान्तरकालीन उपन्यासों में करता रहा है।
जैसा कि हमने कहा है कि गुरुदत्त प्रत्यक्षदृष्टा रहे हैं। उन्होंने सन् 1921 के असहयोग आन्दोलन से लेकर सन् 1948 में महात्मा गांधी की हत्या तक की परिस्थितियों का साक्षात् अध्ययन किया है। उस काल के सभी प्रकार के संघर्षों को न केवल उन्होंने अपनी आँखों से देखा है अपितु अंग्रेजों के दमनचक्र, अत्याचारों और अनीतिपूर्ण आचरण को स्वयं गर्मदल के सदस्य के रुप में अनुभव भी किया है। अतः लेखक ने घटनाओं के तारतम्य का निष्पक्ष चित्रण करते हुए पाठक पर उसके स्वाभाविक प्रभाव तथा अपने मन की प्रतिक्रियाओं का अंकन किया है। ‘स्वाधीनता के पथ पर’, ‘पथिक’, ‘स्वराज्यदान’, ‘दासता के नये रूप’, ‘विश्वासघात और ‘देश की हत्या’ को जो पाठक पढ़ेगा उसको यह सब स्वयं स्पष्ट हो जाएगा।

श्री गुरुदत्त के उपन्यासों को पढ़कर उनका पाठक यह सहज ही अनुमान लगा लेता है कि राजनीति के क्षेत्र में वे राष्ट्रीय विचारधारा के लेखक हैं। सच्चे राष्ट्रवादी की भाँति वे देश के कल्याण की इच्छा और इस मार्ग से चलते विघ्न-संतोषियों पर रोष व्यक्त करते हैं। लेखक के राष्ट्रीय विचारों को ईर्ष्यावश साम्प्रदायिक कहने वाले सम्भवतया यह भूल जाते हैं कि उनके किसी भी उपन्यास में कहीं भी किसी सम्प्रदाय विशेष की उन्नति या उत्तमता की चर्चा तथा अन्य सम्प्रदायों का विरोध नहीं किया गया है। हाँ, इसमें कोई सन्देह नहीं कि अपनी कृतियों में वे स्थान-स्थान पर राष्ट्रवादियों के लिए हिन्दुस्तानी अथवा भारतीय अथवा ‘हिन्दू’ शब्द का प्रयोग करते हैं। यह सम्भव है कि भारत की तथाकथित धर्मनिरपेक्ष सरकार, विशेषतया कांग्रेसी और कम्युनिस्ट ‘हिन्दू’ शब्द को इसलिए साम्प्रदायिक मानते हों कि कहीं इससे मुसलमान रुष्ट न हो जाएँ। वास्तव में हमारा लेखक तो हिन्दुत्व और भारतीयता को सदा पर्यायवाची ही मानता आया है।

इसके साथ ही इस उपन्यास में कांग्रेसी नेताओं और कांग्रेस सरकार के कृत्यों पर भी विशेष प्रकाश डाला गया है। यह सब प्रसंगवशात् नहीं अपितु कथानक की माँग को देखकर यह विशद वर्णन स्वाभाविक ही था। इस काल पर जितने भी उपन्यास लिखे गये हैं, लेखक के दृष्टिकोण में अन्तर होने के कारण नेताओं तथा दल की राजनीति पर भी विभिन्न प्रकार की आलोचना हुई हो किन्तु निष्पक्ष लेखक अथवा उपन्यासकार तथ्यों की अनदेखी नहीं कर सकता। यही गुरुदत्त जी ने अपने इस उपन्यास में किया है।

भूमिका

‘देश की हत्या’ 1947 में जो देश-विभाजन हुआ, उसकी पृष्ठभूमि पर आधारित उपन्यास है। इस प्रकार भारतवर्ष में गांधी-युग की पृष्ठभूमि पर लिखे अपने उपन्यासों की श्रृंखला में यह अन्तिम कड़ी है। ‘स्वाधीनता के पथ पर’, ‘पथिक’, ‘स्वराज्य-दान’ और ‘विश्वासघात’ पहले ही पाठकों के सम्मुख आ चुके हैं। उसी क्रम में इस उपन्यास को लिखकर देश के इतिहास को इस युग के अन्त तक लिख दिया गया है।
इन उपन्यासों में उस युग की सम्पूर्ण घटनाओं को नहीं लिखा जा सका। फिर भी, जो-जो ऐतिहासिक तथ्य लिखे हैं, वे सब सत्य हैं। तत्कालीन इतिहास के साथ-साथ ही ये उपन्यास चलते हैं। उपन्यास विवेचनात्मक हैं और विवेचना अपनी है। कोई अन्य व्यक्ति इन्हीं ऐतिहासिक घटनाओं के अर्थ भिन्न ढंग से भी लगा सकता है। इन अर्थों का विश्लेषण पाठक स्वयं करने का यत्न करें, तो ठीक रहेगा।

इन सब उपन्यासों को क्रमानुसार पढ़ने से कुछ पाठकों को ऐसा भास हुआ है कि लेखक के विचार बदल गए हैं। इस कारण ‘स्वाधीनता के पथ पर’ के गांधीवाद का प्रशंसक ‘देश की हत्या’ में गांधीवाद का निन्दक हो गया प्रतीत होता है। किन्तु ऐसा नहीं है। लेखक ने इतिहास के तारतम्य को ज्यों-का-त्यों रखते हुए, उसके जनता पर प्रभाव को निष्पक्ष भाव से अंकित करते हुए अपने मन पर उत्पन्न हुए भावों को भी लिखा है। यह यत्न किया गया है कि गांधीवाद के समर्थकों का दृष्टिकोण भी यथासम्भव रख दिया जाए। अतएव विचारों में विषमता भासित हो सकती है; वास्तव में ऐसा नहीं है।

राष्ट्र किसी देश के उन नागरिकों के समूह को कहते हैं, जो देश के हित में अपना हित समझते हैं। कभी-कभी देश में ऐसा समूह बहुत छोटा रह जाता है। वे लोग, जो अपने निजी स्वार्थ को सर्वोपरि मानते हैं, बहुत भारी संख्या में उत्पन्न हो जाते हैं, तब देश को हानि पहुँचती है और देश पराधीनता की श्रृंखलाओं में बँध जाता है। राष्ट्र की उन्नति अर्थात् देश में ऐसे लोगों की संख्या में वृद्धि होना, जो देश के सामूहिक हित को व्यक्ति के हितों से ऊपर समझते हैं, अत्यावश्यक है। इसी देश में सुख-शान्ति, ऋद्धि-सिद्धि प्राप्त होती है।

महात्मा गांधी जी की हिन्दू-मुस्लिम एकता की विधि दूषित थी और उक्त लक्ष्य के विरुद्ध बैठी थी। उसका परिणाम 1946-47 के प्रचण्ड हत्याकाण्डों में प्रकट हुआ और अन्त में देश-विभाजन हुआ, जिसके दुःखद परिणाम होने की सम्भावना तब तक बनी रहेगी, जब तक यह विभाजन स्थिर रहेगा। जब-जब भी देश का द्वार गांधार तथा कामभोज (सिन्धु पार का सीमा प्रदेश और अफगानिस्तान) देश के हितेच्छुओं के हाथ में रहा है, तब ही देश सुरक्षित और शान्तिमय रह सका है। जिस राजा अथवा सम्राट ने इस तथ्य को समझा है, उसे अपना अधिकार दो प्रदेशों पर रखने का यत्न किया है। 1919 से 1947 तक की कांग्रेस-नीति ने दोनों प्रदेश भारत के हित के विपरीत जाति के हाथों में दे दिए हैं। उसी नीति से अब कश्मीर को उन लोगों के हाथों में देने का प्रयोजन किया जा रहा है, जो देश के हित का चिन्तन भी नहीं कर सकते। इस दूषित नीति का स्पष्टीकरण ही ‘विश्वासघात’ और ‘देश की हत्या’ में करने का यत्न किया गया है।

यह सम्भव है कि जनता के कुछ लोग लेखक के परिणामों को स्वीकर न करते हों। इसी कारण इन पुस्तकों का लिखना आवश्यक हो गया है। स्वराज्य-प्राप्ति के पश्चात् भारत के शासक-दल ने घटनाओं को विकृत करने, उन घटनाओं में अपने उत्तरदायित्व को दूसरों के गले मढ़ने और घटनाओं को छिपाने का यत्न आरम्भ कर दिया है, इस कारण भी यह दूसरा दृष्टिकोण उपस्थित करना आवश्यक हो गया है।

देश-विभाजन ठीक नहीं माना जा सकता। परन्तु यह क्यों हुआ, किसने किया और कैसे इसको मिटाया जा सकता है ? ये प्रश्न देश के सम्मुख हैं और तब तक रहेंगे, जब तक यह मिट नहीं जाता। सामयिक चिन्ताओं में ग्रस्त लोग भले ही नाक की नोक के आगे न देख सकें, परन्तु दूर-दृष्टि रखने वाले तो इन प्रश्नों पर विचार करेंगे ही। उनको रोकना असम्भव है।
1947 की भयंकर घटनाओं की पृष्ठभूमि पर आधारित यह उपन्यास ऐतिहासिक व्यक्तियों तथा तथ्यों को छोड़, मुख्यतया काल्पनिक ही है। इसके लिए घटनाओं का ज्ञान अनेकानेक निर्वासित भाइयों के वक्तव्यों, समय के समाचार-पत्रों तथा श्री गोपालदास की खोसला की ‘स्टर्न रैकनिंग’ और श्री अमरनाथ बाली की ‘नो इट कैन बी टोल्ड’ नामक अंग्रेजी की पुस्तकों के आधार पर संचित किया गया है।
तदपि है तो यह उपन्यास ही।

more here: http://pustak.org/index.php/books/bookdetails/5339

Comment: this was recently recommended to me by my father. on my to-read list.
 

Berkut

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@OneGrimPilgrim, I'm not getting any updates when you are communicating with me or tagging me.

To all the fellow travellers please check out:
"Open Secrets by M.K.Dhar" - excellent insights into the workings of the intelligence bureau.
"Courage and Conviction" by Gen. V.k. Singh.... Excellent account of the corruption the top echleons of the forces used to face
 

mayfair

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1962: The War That Wasn't
by Shiv Kunal Verma

On 20 October 1962, high in the Himalayas on the banks of the fast-flowing Nam Ka Chu, over 400 Indian soldiers were massacred and the valley was overrun by soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army. Over the course of the next month, nearly 4,000 soldiers were killed on both sides and the Indian Army experienced its worst defeat ever. The conflict (war was never formally declared) ended because China announced a unilateral ceasefire on 21 November and halted its hitherto unhindered advance across NEFA and Ladakh. To add to India’s lasting shame, neither Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru nor the Indian Army was even aware that the ‘war’ had ended until they heard the announcement on the radio—despite the Indian embassy having been given the information two days earlier. This conflict continues to be one of our least understood episodes. Many books have been written on the events of the time, usually by those who were involved in some way, anxious to provide justification for their actions. These accounts have only succeeded in muddying the picture further. What is clear is that 1962 was an unmitigated disaster. The terrain on which most of the battles were fought (or not fought) was remote and inaccessible; the troops were sorely underequipped, lacking even warm clothing; and the men and officers who tried to make a stand were repeatedly let down by their political and military superiors. Time and again, in Nam Ka Chu, Bum-la, Tawang, Se-la, Thembang, Bomdila—all in the Kameng Frontier Division of NEFA in the Eastern Sector—and in Ladakh and Chusul in the Western Sector, our forces were mismanaged, misdirected or left to fend for themselves. If the Chinese Army hadn’t decided to stop its victorious campaign, the damage would have been far worse.In this definitive account of the conflict, based on dozens of interviews with soldiers and numerous others who had a first-hand view of what actually happened in 1962, Shiv Kunal Verma takes us on an uncomfortable journey through one of the most disastrous episodes of independent India’s history.
 

mayfair

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The Wishing Tree: Presence and Promise of India Hardcover – 2015
by Subhash Kak (Author)
Hardcover: 233 pages
Publisher: Aditya Prakashan (2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8177421530
ISBN-13: 978-8177421538



Subhash Kak is a widely known scientist and Vedic scholar. Currently a professor at Louisiana State University, he has authored ten books and more than 200 research papers in the fields of information theory, quantam mechanics, and Indic studies.
 

Project Dharma

meh
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http://lithub.com/10-great-novels-on-freedom-of-expression-that-arent-1984/


perreira
Pereira Maintains, Antonio Tabucchi (trans. Patrick Creagh)

This extraordinary novel, first published in 1994, is set in a sweltering summer in 1930s Portugal. It follows the story of Pereira, a journalist for the culture column of a small Lisbon newspaper, as he struggles with his conscience and the restrictions imposed on his writing by the fascist regime of Antonio Salazar. When he meets a young activist named Monteiro Rossi, all Pereira’s past attempts to lead an apolitical life begin to fill him with shame. The most chilling thing about this novel is the way Tabucchi has structured it, from the very first line, as a piece of testimony given under duress—a forced instance of extended expression: “Pereira maintains he met him one summer’s day . . .”



The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner

This novel does so much in its 383 pages—visits so many places, toys with so many ideas. Kushner’s exploration of political turbulence in 1970s Italy is as fascinating as her scenes of artists colonizing an industrial SoHo, staging actions in the East Village, blurring the line between activism and art. In both its attention to language and its subject matter, The Flamethrowers shines a light on the value and fragility of freedom of expression. “All you could do with words,” one character says, “was turn them on their sides like furniture during a bombardment.”

go tell it on the mountain

Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin

John Grimes, the teenager at the heart of James Baldwin’s first novel, is a smart, confused adolescent boy in 1930s Harlem—the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church. This is a coming-of-age story about a boy’s search for a means of expressing his own sexuality and spirituality, set against a backdrop of larger social and political repressions. When Baldwin writes of John’s heart hardening against religion, and against his father, we see that he is also beginning to question the wider freedoms withheld from African-Americans in his community.

silence de la mer

Le Silence de la mer (The Silence of the Sea), Jean Bruller (trans. Cyril Connelly)

A German officer is forced to occupy the home of a French girl and her aging uncle in Chartres during the Second World War. The family’s act of resistance against this outsider comes from just one act: silence. They refuse to let him access their story. Written in 1941 in France, and published secretly a year later in Paris by the underground press Editions de Minuit, this novel became the first in a series of works by members of the French Resistance that threw light on oppression and censorship across Europe.

white tears

White Tears, Hari Kunzru

Soon to be released in the US, White Tears follows two white New Yorkers in their twenties, Seth and Carter, who are united by an obsession with music. Kunzru’s examination of race relations, greed, freedom, and privilege, is bound together in this book by a story concerning ownership of an artist’s words. When Seth accidentally records an unknown singer in a park, Carter sends it out over the Internet, claiming it’s a long lost blues recording by a 1920s musician named Charlie Shaw. A fascinating, immersive novel that explores appropriation in all its forms.

Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis

First published in 1935, Lewis’s novel is discovering a new readership in the age of Trump. It follows the unlikely election of an authoritarian named Buzz Windrip to the Presidency of the United States—an ascent that is viewed with horror by an editor at a small-town Vermont newspaper. Men and women who protest against Windrip are accused of being “silly socialists.” The press are dismissed as “irresponsible windbags.” At one point Lewis seems to offer us a slogan for 2017: “NOW is a fact that cannot be dodged.”

gone to the forest

Gone to the Forest, Katie Kitamura

Set on a farm in a nameless colonial country teetering on the brink of revolution, Kitamura’s brief and unforgettable novel brings us the experiences of wealthy white rulers as control begins to slip from their hands. The atmosphere of forced silence in the book—between the powerful and the oppressed, and between a damaged son and his cold father—is captured in sentences that break and bend at unexpected moments.



The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moshin Hamid

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a novel that is full of controversial acts of speech, and one that is also framed as such an act: the book is structured a monologue delivered by a young Pakistani man to a mysterious American. “It seems an obvious thing to say,” the narrator remarks at one point, “but you should not imagine that we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all undercover assassins.” Hamid is attuned to the dangers of dismissing criticism of the west as simple terrorist-talk, but he’s also interested in exploring the moments when characters, in their words or acts, conform to type.



The Feast of the Goat, Mario Vargas Llosa (trans. Edith Grossman)

This novel, published a few years before Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for Literature, explores the network of acts, sometimes violent and sometimes peaceful, by which people in the Dominican Republic supported or resisted the regime of dictator Rafael Trujillo, known to some as “the Goat.” The book moves backward and forward in time, showing the domino effect of ideas, large and small, expressed by politicians and the citizens they attempt to control.



The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen

“I’m a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds.” So says the narrator of Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, presenting himself as a captain in the Southern Vietnamese Army. The story he tells is of a point in time when empathy and honest expression seem impossible—a world of misinformation, coded messages, deceptions, multiple identities. The great feat of The Sympathizer lies in the way it draws these elements into its own moving, entertaining, unapologetic act of expression. It gives voice to Vietnamese characters who, in so many comparable novels and films, exist only as walk-on parts.


@Razor @pmaitra @OrangeFlorian
 

Razor

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http://lithub.com/10-great-novels-on-freedom-of-expression-that-arent-1984/


perreira
Pereira Maintains, Antonio Tabucchi (trans. Patrick Creagh)

This extraordinary novel, first published in 1994, is set in a sweltering summer in 1930s Portugal. It follows the story of Pereira, a journalist for the culture column of a small Lisbon newspaper, as he struggles with his conscience and the restrictions imposed on his writing by the fascist regime of Antonio Salazar. When he meets a young activist named Monteiro Rossi, all Pereira’s past attempts to lead an apolitical life begin to fill him with shame. The most chilling thing about this novel is the way Tabucchi has structured it, from the very first line, as a piece of testimony given under duress—a forced instance of extended expression: “Pereira maintains he met him one summer’s day . . .”



The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner

This novel does so much in its 383 pages—visits so many places, toys with so many ideas. Kushner’s exploration of political turbulence in 1970s Italy is as fascinating as her scenes of artists colonizing an industrial SoHo, staging actions in the East Village, blurring the line between activism and art. In both its attention to language and its subject matter, The Flamethrowers shines a light on the value and fragility of freedom of expression. “All you could do with words,” one character says, “was turn them on their sides like furniture during a bombardment.”

go tell it on the mountain

Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin

John Grimes, the teenager at the heart of James Baldwin’s first novel, is a smart, confused adolescent boy in 1930s Harlem—the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church. This is a coming-of-age story about a boy’s search for a means of expressing his own sexuality and spirituality, set against a backdrop of larger social and political repressions. When Baldwin writes of John’s heart hardening against religion, and against his father, we see that he is also beginning to question the wider freedoms withheld from African-Americans in his community.

silence de la mer

Le Silence de la mer (The Silence of the Sea), Jean Bruller (trans. Cyril Connelly)

A German officer is forced to occupy the home of a French girl and her aging uncle in Chartres during the Second World War. The family’s act of resistance against this outsider comes from just one act: silence. They refuse to let him access their story. Written in 1941 in France, and published secretly a year later in Paris by the underground press Editions de Minuit, this novel became the first in a series of works by members of the French Resistance that threw light on oppression and censorship across Europe.

white tears

White Tears, Hari Kunzru

Soon to be released in the US, White Tears follows two white New Yorkers in their twenties, Seth and Carter, who are united by an obsession with music. Kunzru’s examination of race relations, greed, freedom, and privilege, is bound together in this book by a story concerning ownership of an artist’s words. When Seth accidentally records an unknown singer in a park, Carter sends it out over the Internet, claiming it’s a long lost blues recording by a 1920s musician named Charlie Shaw. A fascinating, immersive novel that explores appropriation in all its forms.

Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here

It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis

First published in 1935, Lewis’s novel is discovering a new readership in the age of Trump. It follows the unlikely election of an authoritarian named Buzz Windrip to the Presidency of the United States—an ascent that is viewed with horror by an editor at a small-town Vermont newspaper. Men and women who protest against Windrip are accused of being “silly socialists.” The press are dismissed as “irresponsible windbags.” At one point Lewis seems to offer us a slogan for 2017: “NOW is a fact that cannot be dodged.”

gone to the forest

Gone to the Forest, Katie Kitamura

Set on a farm in a nameless colonial country teetering on the brink of revolution, Kitamura’s brief and unforgettable novel brings us the experiences of wealthy white rulers as control begins to slip from their hands. The atmosphere of forced silence in the book—between the powerful and the oppressed, and between a damaged son and his cold father—is captured in sentences that break and bend at unexpected moments.



The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Moshin Hamid

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a novel that is full of controversial acts of speech, and one that is also framed as such an act: the book is structured a monologue delivered by a young Pakistani man to a mysterious American. “It seems an obvious thing to say,” the narrator remarks at one point, “but you should not imagine that we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all undercover assassins.” Hamid is attuned to the dangers of dismissing criticism of the west as simple terrorist-talk, but he’s also interested in exploring the moments when characters, in their words or acts, conform to type.



The Feast of the Goat, Mario Vargas Llosa (trans. Edith Grossman)

This novel, published a few years before Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize for Literature, explores the network of acts, sometimes violent and sometimes peaceful, by which people in the Dominican Republic supported or resisted the regime of dictator Rafael Trujillo, known to some as “the Goat.” The book moves backward and forward in time, showing the domino effect of ideas, large and small, expressed by politicians and the citizens they attempt to control.



The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen

“I’m a spy, a sleeper, a spook, a man of two faces. Perhaps not surprisingly, I am also a man of two minds.” So says the narrator of Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, presenting himself as a captain in the Southern Vietnamese Army. The story he tells is of a point in time when empathy and honest expression seem impossible—a world of misinformation, coded messages, deceptions, multiple identities. The great feat of The Sympathizer lies in the way it draws these elements into its own moving, entertaining, unapologetic act of expression. It gives voice to Vietnamese characters who, in so many comparable novels and films, exist only as walk-on parts.


@Razor @pmaitra @OrangeFlorian
Nice collection...

I see the theme........................
 

Berkut

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"Escape to Nowhere" by Amar Bhushan

Talks about the much publicised Ravinder Singh defection to USA. Gives insights on the inner workings of R&AW.

Very well written.
 

Screambowl

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Read e glish version of raja gidh
It exposes pakistans caste system

Sent from my SM-T211 using Tapatalk
 

Indibomber

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Eye for an Eye Decoding Global Special Operations and Irregular Warfare: A Vision for India

This book examines the historical contribution of special operations to counterterrorism and counter-insurgency worldwide, drawing lessons applicable to the Indian context. It suggests that rather than emulate the Anglo-American model of special operations, which emphasises technological superiority and high-visibility direct action, India should integrate special operations with aggressive diplomacy, by carrying out preparatory covert actions inside Pakistan. For this, tasking, intelligence, logistics and training need to be optimised for missions inside hostile urban localities, instead of the predominantly rural focus that special operations forces have traditionally developed. With Pakistan remaining committed to the strategic destabilisation of India, despite repeated peace overtures from New Delhi, the Indian Army and civilian intelligence community must be prepared to take the war to the adversary.
 

F-14B

#iamPUROHIT
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Barons of banking

images (60).jpg


Barons Of Banking: Glimpses Of Indian Banking History provides an insight into the lives of six prominent personalities from various institutes of banking. Sorabji Pochkhanawala, one of the founders of the Central Bank of India, Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas, Chintaman D. Deshmukh, the first Indian Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, A D Shroff, founder of the Investment Corporation of India, H T Parekh, the founder of HDFC and R K Talwar form the majority of contributors to the Indian banking scene.

The history of the institutions that are associated with each of the six noteworthy financiers forms a big part of Bakhtiyar Dadabhoy's book. The Central Bank of India, HDFC, Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India Ltd, Reserve Bank of India and State Bank of India are the five major banking institutes linked to the development of the country's banking and finance sector. The facts and figures of each are unravelled during the course of this book.

The committees associated with banking houses and their contribution had an impact in shaping the banking regimen, as stated in the book. A choice element in Barons Of Banking is an analysis of the spiteful relations between Sir James Grigg, the Finance Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council and Sir Osborne Smith, the first Governor of the RBI. The book moves towards the mandates and policies of the RBI and proves to be an affirmative read for bankers and non-bankers alike.

Tomcat's take

A mind blowing read from the eye watering sums of money handeled by hundi to the struggles of Sir Sorobji
From the extraodinary rise of Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas to command the Imperial Bank of India
Its highly recomended to banking students

( image and detailed discriptions credited to M/s Amazon)
 

Mikesingh

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Superb books that are worth a read and available on line from Amazon etc. Happy reading!




This book explains the origins and nature of terrorism in Pakistan and examines the social, political and economic factors that have contributed to the rise of political violence there.



This book examines the rise of religious extremism in Pakistan, particularly since 1947, and analyzes its connections to the Pakistani army's corporate interests and U.S.-Pakistan relations. It includes profiles of leading Pakistani militant groups with details of their origins, development, and capabilities.



The leading journalist on Pakistan lays out America's options with Pakistan and Afghanistan in the post-Bin Laden years.



Ayesha Siddiqa shows how the military has gradually gained control of Pakistan's political, social, and economic resources. T his power has transformed Pakistani society, where the armed forces have become an independent class.

There are more great books to read, but that's enough for now. :)
 

here2where

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Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore
by Manu S. Pillai


Gives a good account of why Kerala is so different and how it came to be naturally multi-religious and tolerant over the ages. Worthy read to those who are curious about the place called 'God's own country' and why it is what it is today.

Could have been edited to be a crisper read though. Author almost appears a hopeless fan-boi of the erstwhile Tranvancore Royals and gives a one-sided account of the happenings of the later years.
 
Last edited:

S.A.T.A

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Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore
by Manu S. Pillai


Gives a good account of why Kerala is so different and how it came to be naturally multi-religious and tolerant over the ages. Worthy read to those know are curious about the curious place called 'God's own country' and why it is what it is today.

Could have been edited to be a crisper read though. Author almost appears a hopeles sfan-boi of the erstwhile Tranvancore Royals and gives a one-sided account of the happenings of the later years.
I've been looking to get this book for a while, but for some reason keep putting it off. Just worried that it tells lot of stuff that I already know.

However so far only heard good things about the book. Massive tome, close to a thousand pages, but appears to be well researched. Regarding the soft treatment to the erstwhile royal family, think most travancore nairs have this soft corner for the family (including yours truly). The fact that the family has kept itself above reproach for better part of the post independence years has only added to their aura. The tragic last years of the last Maharani of Travancore does make for a sad reading. She passed away in Bangalore in a nondescript apartment.. To come to think of it.

P:S - Manu Pillai has previously worked as private secretary to Sashi Tharoor, so expect some flair of his mentor to have rubbed on to him.
 

here2where

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I..Massive tome, close to a thousand pages..
Yes its a tedious read often times, especially if don't care much for the family gossips, cat fights between the senior and junior maharanis, excruciatingly detailed account of extravagant royal life styles, holidays, what every two-bit royal character feels on every topic, etc.

Some of the key take-aways from the book to me were -
. The real reason behind opening the temple doors to lower caste hindoos, despite the senior maharani not having been keen on it due to her strict orthodoxy (it apppears she never went to Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple once the lower castes started visiting it).
. Why Marthanda varma cunningly devoted his wealth and land holdings (state of travancore) to Sri Padmanabha and the temple and the mischevious reasoning behind it.
. How Kerala very nearly chose to remain an independent country after 1947, and infact went ahead and established diplomatic relations with Pakistan.
. The absolute power Attingal royal ladies had over their men and how the men could be disposed off at will.
. How even in the earlier Calicut Zamorin days, islam and other religions were accepted with open arms and how the Zamorin wanted every second son in a hindoo family to be converted to a muslim so that the boy could learn sailing ships and and increase family fortunes via trade.
. How the earlier maharanis signed trade deals with Portuguese/Dutch/British while sitting bare-breasted across the table! Women started covering up breasts only after the Victorian age bought in by the missionaries started flourishing in KL.
. Detailed accounts of the stupidity of the rajahs in gifting their kingdoms to foreign powers to satisfy their vain egos and petty differences.

So yes, if you can seperate the wheat from the chaff, you can finish the book earlier than it otherwise would require.
 

here2where

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Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India's Geography
by
Sanjeev Sanyal


Read this book and i would recommend it to those looking for a non-academic, skim-thru-the-surface type of a book covering the really vast history of the subcontinent - begining with subcontinent landmass breaking away from african mainland and eventually pushed up into asia, till modern times and all the civilisations, european/central-asian invasions, kings, british colonization, etc in between.

As long as you are not looking for details into any particular era of our continous civilisation, this book is highly recommended, not withstanding the author's strong bias to N/Central India and almost non-existent coverage of S/NE India.
 

Bosch

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Some crazy deals now on flipkart. Books selling at 80% off! 84% if you buy 4 or more than 4.:drool:

some recommendations, the number following the name of the book and its details would be the price.

A World In Disarray (English, Paperback, Haass Richard) 99

Defeat Is an Orphan (English, Hardcover, Macdonald Myra) 119

The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace (English, Hardcover, A.S. Dulat) 159

Hit Refresh (English, Hardcover, Nadella Satya) 119

Altered Carbon (English, Paperback, Morgan Richard) 119

Star of the North (English, Paperback, John D. B.) 119

Worshipping False Gods(Author Signed Copy) (Paperback, Arun Shourie, Authored By) 159

Every Vote Counts: The Story of India's Elections (English, Hardcover, Navin Chawla) 139

Directorate S (English, Paperback, Coll Steve) 119
 

Sourav Kumar

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Conundrum: Subhash Bose's Life After Death

by Chandrachur Ghose and Anuj Dhar


Here is 3 hour video lecture from Anuj Dhar. I did not know that I would be able to go through 3 hours of lecture at this age but 3 hours passed like 30 mins.

 

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