Anita Agnihotri

Anita Agnihotri’s collection of short sto­ries leaves one with a melancholic feel ing: something that occurs to every thinking individual while reading daily news­papers, but she chooses to ignore.

Reviewed by: Sanju Thomas
Yigal Bronner

The historical is not defined by the past; both the historical and the past are defined as themes of which one can speak. The historical is forever absent from its very presence. This means that it disappears behind its manifestations; its appari­tion is always superficial and equivocal; its ori­gin, its principle, always elsewhere.

Reviewed by: Nikhil Govind
Nalin Mehta

Since the advent of television in India the number of licensed television sets in India grew from 55 in 1964 to a lakh in 1975 and to just over two million connections in 1982; in 1991 a total of thirty-four million families owned television sets, growing to 65% of the Indian popula­tion owning television sets by 2014—the so­cietal and political landscape has transformed quite dramatically.

Reviewed by: Roshni Sengupta
Susan Hapgood

In the age of digital photography where more and more images are being taken to be stored in the hard drives of com­puters a certain fascination with photogra­phy of the distant past has resurfaced.

Reviewed by: Sohail Akbar
Mahesh Rangarajan

History always offers rich pickings and an edited volume of rigorous his­torical research seldom disappoints. Shifting Ground: People, Animals and Mobil­ity in India’s Environmental History is an ex­cellent example and one thing can certainly be said about it—that even though a little unevenly, it shifts ground very effectively.

Reviewed by: Pankaj Sekhsaria
Divya S. Iyer

This is a collection of forty-nine ar­ticles, transcripts of speeches and lec­tures by a former diplomat divided into seven sections of seven pieces each; seven to represent the sapta-chiranjeevi or seven im­mortal beings in the Hindu pantheon; each section carries a helpful subtitle, Hanuman as the first Indian diplomat to be sent abroad, Vibheeshana who stands for righteousness and so on.

Reviewed by: I.P. Khosla
Nirode Mohanty

The Indo-US relationship assumes im­portance in a multipolar world with shifting alliances—new partnerships are being formed, some are being renewed and others are breaking up. The US and In­dia have never been as aligned as they are today.

Reviewed by: Uma Purushothaman
Rashid Amjad

Given the plethora of debates that have come up in the last few years on the stability of Pakistan, Paki­stan: Making The Economy Move Forward, makes an attempt to address this key stabil­ity-instability paradox, by critically examin­ing the strengths and faultlines of Pakistan’s economy.

Reviewed by: Medha Bisht
Kaushik Roy

Kaushik Roy takes a long view of the processes that have shaped the geo¬politics of Afghanistan, unlike most of its recently published military histories. In his words, this publication consists of a political and military narrative of Afghanistan’s conventional and unconven¬tional warfare spanning five centuries.

Reviewed by: Jayant Prasad
Sumbul Halim Khan

This book is based on the karkhanajat papers comprising roznama or roznamcha (daily ledgers), arhsatta (provide details on income and expenditure), siyah (lists details on the raw material in a karkhana), taujih jama kharch (gives details on raw material, the process of manufactur­ing and finished items, remarks on the wages and the operational techniques of the crafts­men) and rare documents available in the Town Hall Museum at Jaipur and the Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner.

Reviewed by: Meena Bhargava
Francesca Orsini

Amidst the resurgence of regional and local forces, the poets, performers, merchants and scribes found new and diverse sources of patronage, and as they travelled around in search of patrons and opportunities, they came in touch with, and interacted with new ideas and worldviews, creating in the pro­cess a hybrid and multilingual space.

Reviewed by: Shivangini Tandon
Teesta Setalvad

In a lecture titled ‘What is a Nation?’, delivered in the late 19th century, the ideologue of the French Empire Ernest Renan laid out a survey of the bonds that weld a people together.

Reviewed by: Sukumar Muraleedharan
Mary Elizabeth King

Travancore’s princely family governed this Siva temple and the four roads around it, which until the satyagraha’s substantial if partial success were open to caste Hindus, non-Hindus and animals, but not to Ezhavas and their ilk.

Reviewed by: Rajmohan Gandhi
Ziauddin Sardar

In 2002, when I took up a posting in London with the Indian High Commis­sion, Ziauddin Sardar, already estab­lished as one of Britain’s leading public in­tellectuals, was one of the most interesting voices in the argument that overshadowed all others, on whether the West, led by the US with the UK in tow, should invade Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Reviewed by: Satyabrat Pal