This book continues in the tradition of contemporary business classics like In Search of Excellence, Built to Last, and Good to Great, but with an important difference—it is focused on ‘small giants’, fourteen American companies that though small in size (number of employees) have defied conventional wisdom and established a distinctive position for themselves in the eyes of industry observers and their peers.
This new collection of writings by Jawaharlal Nehru could not have been published at a more appropriate time. It is now 43 years since he left us and his achievements and failures, his explanations and exhortations can today be seen with detachment and understanding.
Books that attempt to present a balanced and comprehensive history of a period necessarily run the risk of slipping into banality. There are always too many things that demand a mention and there is never enough space to deal with them in depth or detail. Inevitably, the narrative becomes superficial, the analysis perfunctory and rushed, and the treatment at best a competent textbook summary of existing knowledge with little originality of approach or insight.
Home Products, Amitava Kumar’s first novel, is a story of two stories, the story that the words on a page tell us and the other, often more interesting one, the story about the story; that is the way it reaches its readers, the traces of its scaffolding visible, made visible on purpose by the writer who almost in a late modernist gesture, takes us to that great workshop, the writer’s mind, his table and on it, an open exhibition of his wares.
I don’t think I have read any Indian book in recent times as avidly as I did Kalpana Swaminathan’s Ambrosia for Afters. This is a brilliant book, and one of the rare breed that targets young adults as much as it does older readers. This to me is a crossover book, a book in the line of classics like Catcher in the Rye, books that defy classification of readership by age (not that Ambrosia has been positioned a novel for young adults).