As David Thelen said the main ‘challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present.’ This recovery and introduction is being done by historical writing, which is one variety of written expression that seeks to inform and persuade the reader through the use of evidence organized around a central thesis or argument. Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History recounts the modern history of Sri Lanka, starting from colonial times to the present, a story of about two centuries.
This is a splendid book on cultural interactions across Eurasia from approximately the 3rd-10th centuries CE. In keeping with its title, the book itself crosses many boundaries—disciplinary, national and conceptual—to provide us with an awe-inspiring picture of the ‘different forms of transmissions, transgressions, hybridizations, dialectic encounters,
This book will generate very different responses from its readers. Indian academics may contest its premises and conclusions, but will have to grapple with a thesis so novel, which argues that Indian diplomacy flows from the Mahabharata, emerging from the progressively narrower and corroded conduits of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru as satyagraha. Indian diplomats will find it either unreadable or extremely funny—the purest poppycock. The danger of course is that foreign analysts, unfamiliar with India and looking for keys to unlock its mysteries,
A book with so formidable a scope as Rahul Govind’s The Infinite Double: Persons/Things/Empire/Economy cannot be limited to a critique. And if it’s salutary ethical tonality doesn’t determine its explicit intellectual object while also not being a mere critique of imperialism, then what sort of a book is it?
Over the last three decades and more, China’s growth miracle has economically transformed the nation, catapulting it to become the second largest economy in the world. Interestingly, over roughly the same period, China also saw a deterioration in its gender ratio, with a resultant sex ratio at birth (SRB) (2010–15) being ‘dangerously high’ at 116 boys for every 100 girls. A Chinese population of 700 million men and 667 million women (2014), meant China has 33 million more men than women
China under Xi’ has become a dominant catchphrase in the International Relations lexicon. Wherein, the symbiotic connect has truly become the definition of a new form of China, which is confident, strong and does not prevail in the shadow of Deng Xiaoping’s old dictum of ‘keeping a low profile’
This is a well-written book and goes into some considerable detail on each of the major battles of the 1962 conflict between India and China in both the Eastern and Western Sectors. The narrative is riveting and supported by maps particularly of battles in the Eastern Sector as well as reproductions of photographs of many important personalities and events associated with the conflict culled from multiple sources. These definitely add a heft and immediacy to the book often lacking in many historical texts. Without doubt, this is a labour of love, much effort, including by the author’s own family members has gone into it. To recreate the amount of detail there is in the accounts of battle Verma certainly had access to some very personal reminiscences and he communicates the immediacy and tension of battle as well as the bitterness of defeat with verve and feeling. For these reasons alone, this book must belong to the shelves of any student of India’s war
As redundant as publishing the screenplay for the latest film set in JK Rowling’s mersmerizing wizarding world is, the power of marketing is equally magical, such that every gullible fan has bought, ordered or stolen a copy of the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
The idea of a novel based on a no man’s land, a stretch of land between two nation states, can quickly draw the attention of the reader for it instantly hints at a possible political conflict situation. But Remains of Spring: A Naga Village in the No Man’s Land (2016) by Jibon Krishna Goswami is more than the story of a village caught in a war-like situation that prevails everyday.