This fat book is really a rag-bag. It consists of the papers presented to a series of seminars held over two years, from 1972 to 1974, by the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London. The theme was leadership, but the word was interpreted so widely as to mean almost anything—individual charisma, social process, bureaucratic machinery, tribal organization and anything else that anyone wished to talk or write about. We have here papers by not only historians but political scientists, social anthropologists and even a former chief minister of a state. Interdisciplinary studies are now the fashion; but no scholars have ever before understood it in this manner of picking disciplines at random and throwing them into one basket. One is surprised at the moderation of the organizers in not bringing in the physical and natural sciences as well, and telling us of the leadership of Bhabha and Bhatnagar; but perhaps it was not moderation but lack of persons who could hold forth on such subjects. For we have two papers on law which seem far-fetched enough. Indian readers will be surprised to learn that Shri P.B. Gajendragadkar has been exercising leadership in this country.
Nov-Dec 1977, volume 2, No 6