Vikas Khanna

A good cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes. It tells stories about the writer and the ingredients. It transports you to kitchens and markets both familiar and unknown.

Reviewed by: Anu Kriti
Annie Zaidi

Love Stories # 1-14 is not arranged in the numerical order one expects to find on turning the first page—this is the book’s first surprise. And it is this note of whimsy that connects the threads of Annie Zaidi’s fourteen love stories in the collection under review.

Reviewed by: Asma Rasheed
Navtej Sarna

It is a pleasure to hold a book of short stories, flip its pages and discover that each story is actually short, about 4-5 pages.

Reviewed by: Amandeep Sandhu
Uzma Aslam Khan

Thinner than Skin, my first engagement with Uzma Aslam Khan’s work has been a beautiful experience. Truly, there is no other word to describe her writing, which is well-researched as well as derived from her personal experiences.

Reviewed by: Madhumita Chakraborty
Kaliprasanna Sinha

Kaliprasanna Sinha, born into wealth, spent his brief life in the Calcutta of the mid-nineteenth century busying himself with social and literary work that must have baffled his peers, to whom anything not effete was pointless.

Reviewed by: Satyabrat Pal
Easterine Kire

The protracted Naga problem has been a much debated topic in the political sphere, yet very little has found its way into the literary realm.

Reviewed by: K.B. Veio Pou
S.D. Muni and Tan Tai Yong

China looms large over South Asia. It borders four of the eight countries comprising the region—Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Bhutan, of which it has unresolved border disputes with India and Bhutan.

Reviewed by: Neha Kohli
D.P. Tripathi and B.R. Deepak

The book under review is the result of an endeavour by the journal Think India Quarterly committee. The committee came out with a special issue to mark the sixtieth anniversary of diplomatic ties between India and China.

Reviewed by: Teshu Singh
Srikanth Kondapalli

China’s military spending, its weapons acquisitions and technological investments have been the subjects of commentaries for many years now. Even though debates on the true value of China’s military budget and the quality of its indigenous defence industry continue, it is generally acknowledged that these issues merit deeper study because the growth in China’s military prowess has consequences for the global international order.

Reviewed by: Rukmani Gupta
Bertil Lintner

History connects the past to the present. It is left to us as to what we make of our understanding of history. Too often, societies and leaders get frozen in their understanding of history and fail to comprehend the role they could play in dealing with problems and issues left over from history.

Reviewed by: T.C.A. Rangachari
Kathleen Barry

At the centre of Kathleen Barry’s book Unmaking War: Remaking Men is the question: ‘Why do wars persist in the face of our human urge to save and protect human life?’

Reviewed by: Shohini Ghosh
Vishal Chandra

This compilation on neighbourhood armies in South Asia is a timely academic effort by a team of area experts at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and brings together a bird’s eye perspective of the security environment, geo-political and strategic background under which armies in different countries in India’s neighbourhood have evolved.

Reviewed by: Rana Banerji
Shanthie Mariet D'Souza

Nowadays, when you mention ‘transition’ in the Afghan context, the definite article gets left out and the first letter capitalized; it becomes ‘Transition’, a proper noun and an entity that will produce a new Afghanistan of uncertain lineament.

Reviewed by: I.P. Khosla
Muchkund Dubey

A review of India’s external relations by a former Foreign Secretary always makes for a good read as it has elements of an insider’s view not just from a ringside seat, but as a key player. Muchkund Dubey’s treatise is a scholarly work that looks at India’s place and aspirations in a changing world.

Reviewed by: B.G. Verghese
Antonio Giustozzi

The title of the book is doubly provocative. The first part of Antonio Giustozzi’s stimulating volume paraphrases Machiavelli’s work, The Art of War. The second part is a play on primitive accumulation, a term widely used in understanding the evolution of capitalism but rarely employed in analysing the evolution of state structures.

Reviewed by: C. Raja Mohan
Alice Lyman Miller and Richard Wich

Alice Lyman Miller and Richard Wich both of whom have been lecturing for several years on Asian international relations at various American universities have done yeoman’s service to the field of international relations by publishing this masterly account of Asia since the Second World War.

Reviewed by: Arun Vishwanathan
Kanak Mani Dixit

Twenty-two choice articles of a chronicle. A chronicle of times and spaces—of minds—of one fifth of humanity. A confection on the remarkable journey of a mountain magazine published over the past twenty-five years as a first and foremost regional publication.

Reviewed by: Syed Muntasir Mamun
Seema Mustafa

Seema Mustafa’s personal-political memoir, Azadi’s Daughter is a welcome addition to semi-autobiographical writings by women journalists of India that have recently got published.

Reviewed by: Baran Farooqi
Diane D'Souza

Diane D’Souza has presented a rich and fascinating insight into the devotional life of Shia Ithna Ashari (Twelver) Muslim women of Hyderabad in India.

Reviewed by: Ambar Ahmad
Manisha Sethi

‘….how does one explain the numerical preponderance of nuns over monks? What is it that drives women—increasingly young and unmarried—to a life of itinerant mendicancy?’ (p. 8)?

Reviewed by: Ranjeeta Dutta
Aditya Mukherjee

This massive volume is a great disappointment. Of the nineteen chapters, one is outstanding, four or five others are well done and generally informative. Apart from these few exceptions, there is little new information provided and the articles offer few if any insights into this critical period in modern Indian history.

Reviewed by: Sudha Pai
Gopal Guru

When was the last time that one has come across a co-authored book that takes the form of an explicit debate? Among the qualities that make this book so stimulating, its genuinely dialogical structure must come first.

Reviewed by: Mary E. John
Steve Inskeep

A city is not an onion that can be unpeeled to reveal its layers. It is a breathing organism shaped by the ideologies that create it.

Reviewed by: Naved Farooqui
K.C. Sivaramakrishnan

With the surging idea of civic participation in affairs of governance in India, there cannot be a more opportune time for K.C. Sivaramakrishnan’s book which presents an informative and detailed background of the early efforts made in the area of urban development in the country.

Reviewed by: Aftab Jalia
Rajeev Malhotra

Kaushik Basu who has written the foreword for the book says ‘Taking advantage of this (2011) being the Golden Jubilee Year of the IES (Indian Economic Service), it was decided to bring out a book written entirely by the officers of the service.’

Reviewed by: Arnab Bose
Kokila Rangachari

Given that the flag of Indian enterprise has not been fluttering of late, this book should help boost the morale of Indian business and its elan at home and around the world.

Reviewed by: Sanjaya Baru
V. Geetha

The practice of conceptualizing the political world in binaries is fairly common. While these binaries have been useful for conceptual clarity scholars who are committed to binary conceptualizations such as modernity/tradition, religious belief/secularism, state neutrality/intervention and individual/community sometimes risk ignoring specificities of actual texts or events; they assume that patterns are produced over time fitting into mutually opposed set of ideas.

Reviewed by: Ankita Pandey
Perry Anderson

The celebrated New Left historian and political essayist Perry Anderson’s latest book The Indian Ideology appears at a time when several mainstream publishers with their assorted wares are proclaiming India’s arrival on the stage of world history.

Reviewed by: Rajesh Sharma
Rowena Robinson

The idea of ‘minority’ and ‘minority rights’ has been a matter of intense debates, ever since the modern nation-states came into existence.

Reviewed by: Md. Sanjeer Alam
Ananya Vajpeyi

The plethora of commentaries and critiques on Indian political thought in the early seventies that saw a dismal disconnection between theoretical endeavours and philosophical traditions, was based on the fact that the latter seemed to play no role in the way social sciences and politics were practised in India and elsewhere.

Reviewed by: Vidhu Varma
Madhuri Sharma

Anchoring on Banaras—a site where not only cultural plurality permeates and colours its social fabric but where medical plurality also thrived within the context of East-West encounter—Indigenous and Western Medicine in Colonial India delineates varied shades of the social history of medicine reflecting on ‘the multiplicity and complexity of social interaction and encounter between indigenous and western medicine’ (p. XI) that still endures in Banaras.

Reviewed by: Dhrub Kumar Singh
Mridula Ramanna

I had the privilege of reviewing Mridula Ramanna’s earlier volume, Western Medicine and Public Health in Colonial Bombay, 1845-1895 in The Book Review (Vol XXVII, No.8, August) in 2003.

Reviewed by: Mohan Rao
Nile Green

Nile Green is an unusually gifted historian. He has been engaged, almost single-handedly, in a quiet revisionism in the social history of early modern India. His work has served to introduce fresh perspectives to our understanding of early modern epistemology, bringing in dimensions of corporeality and embodiment to processes of knowledge formation.

Reviewed by: Farhat Hasan
Claire Anderson

Subaltern Lives offers us much more than what it initially promises. It is not just a prospographical analysis of individual convicts, or about recuperating lives of marginal groups transported across vast spaces of Empire under conditions of extreme regulation and punishment, it is about methodology and the challenges of reading archives.

Reviewed by: Lakshmi Subramanian
Davesh Soneji

Unfinished Gestures provides a gentle, poignant and painstakingly detailed account of the complex processes whereby women who participated and continue to participate in what Soneji classifies as non-conjugal relationships have been marginalized.

Reviewed by: Kumkum Roy